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Botho University students win suspension case

NNASARETHA KGAMANYANE
Botho University students during the court case PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE
Botho University students have welcomed a judgement by Justice Terrence Rannowane of the Gaborone High Court ordering the university to reinstate the expelled students with immediate effect, and recognise the Student Representative Council (SRC).

A total of 25 students and nine SRC members were suspended following a peaceful demonstration relating to book allowances and accreditation of some courses.

The University was also ordered to provide remedial classes, examinations and continuous assessment that the students missed as a result of the suspension. Botho University lost the case with costs.

In an interview with Mmegi, the students’ attorney, Kago Mokotedi, expressed his excitement over the Judge’s decision.

“I am happy that the SRC has been reinstated forthwith; the University will provide remedial classes, examinations and any continuous assessment that the students missed as a result of the suspension,” Mokotedi said.

He said the University management’s decision to suspend the SRC was in violation of their rights as the SRC was established to be the voice of the students.

SRC president, Kabelo Dikatlholo said they learnt that out of 48 courses offered by the University, only four were accredited, but the school management did not have any clear explanations.

“Time and again we tried to plead with the school management to attend to the grievances but in vain, resulting in the students ultimately losing patience,” he said, adding that it was difficult to control them.

He said the police were called and they brutalised the students, and the clash spilled into the Game City Mall where the students had sought refuge.

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his part, the Mayor of Gaborone, Kagiso Thutlwe said he was disappointed with the laziness of Department of Tertary Education Funding and the institution’s administration. This follows a spate of strikes by tertiary students over non-payment of their allowances.

“I am calling for the leadership of this country to stand up and take action against those officers who are not doing their jobs. This situation could have been avoided if all the concerned parties did their jobs,” he said. He said as Gaborone’s leader, he found it important to support the students as their rights were violated. He called on the students across different tertiary institutions to unite and fight for their rights.

Meanwhile, Thutlwe said a large number of University of Botswana students who were accommodated at Civic Centre have gone to their respective homes.

“We are still accommodating about 40 students who had to remain behind because they did not receive their monthly allowance. Take note that some of those students come from as far as Kasane, Shakawe, Gantsi, Tsabong and other far flung places,” he said.

The Mayor added that even though it was an expensive exercise to provide for those students, it was done for the sake of the freedom of students. He said they will rather endure the costs than abandoning helpless students.



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