Police disperse rowdy protesters

APPEAL FOR CALM: Nehawu’s Sandile Sanda addresses protesters from a Uitenhage college at Town Lodge yesterday
APPEAL FOR CALM: Nehawu’s Sandile Sanda addresses protesters from a Uitenhage college at Town Lodge yesterday

Chaos erupted at the Town Lodge in Port Elizabeth yesterday when at least 100 Eastern Cape Midland College employees stormed the hotel where a meeting was being held.

This came after the Uitenhage college fired 66 staff members this week for their part in illegal protests, despite court interdicts and protection orders against them.

After being hit by protests and campus closures for months last year, the college fired staff members affiliated to the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) after they failed to arrive for disciplinary hearings on Tuesday.

Police eventually forced the rowdy protesters to leave the hotel.

But Thando Gotyi, an Eastern Cape Midland College branch coordinator, said they were not there to fight.

“There is a meeting inside. All we want is for the workers’ grievances to be addressed.”

Eastern Cape Midland College spokeswoman Elmarie van der Merwe declined to comment on the meeting.

Chairman of the college’s Nehawu branch, Sandile Sanda, confirmed that the firing of staff members had been discussed at the meeting.

-Yoliswa Sobuwa

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