Parents considering legal action against NMMU

NMMU acting vice-chancellor Dr Sibongile Muthwa Picture: Fredlin Adriaan
NMMU acting vice-chancellor Dr Sibongile Muthwa
Picture: Fredlin Adriaan

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University could be facing a lawsuit by dozens of angry parents whose children were affected by protesters.

This as universities around the country continued this week with protests which were sparked last week by Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande’s fee hike announcement.

NMMU has been shut down since Monday and lectures have been suspended until further notice.

The parents, led by advocate Terry Price, are threatening to open a case of Mandamus after, they claim, the university failed to honour the rights of non-protesting students.

Price, acting as a concerned parent, said the university should have acted in the interest of the larger group of non-protesting students rather than in the interest of the minority.

“They have a duty to ensure that the students are able to write their tests. They can’t simply wash their hands on a group of 130 scum bags,” Price said.

However, NMMU acting vice-chancellor Dr Sibongile Muthwa said parents had to understand it was not “a numbers game”.

“It’s been said that a small group of protesting students are preventing the majority from studying. We have thought about this very carefully, it is not a numerical game. If it was like that it would be much easier,” Muthwa said.

“When a group of protesting students block a gate and the one student tries to get through it means we are not protecting that student. We are charged primarily with educating students but we are also charged with educating them in a safe environment.”

Muthwa said they ideally wanted students to complete their studies and “deliver on our contractual obligation”.

“It is unfortunate that there are these rumblings from parents,” she said.

5 thoughts on “Parents considering legal action against NMMU

  • September 29, 2016 at 9:18 am

    These protests are all part of a major political plan to wreck the country

  • September 28, 2016 at 5:58 am

    NMMU have a contractual obligation to render the service they have been paid for.
    To cry lame duck and say the NMMU precient is unsafe is a pathetic approach, to say the least.
    They expect students to push themselves, to be creative and think out of the box – maybe they should try the same.
    As a parent I am comitted to offering assistance & solutions, which I have done, but no response.

  • September 27, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    I think the university management (in various institutions) and VCs have been guilty of gross disrespect for the constitution and the law. “Respecting the law” does not only mean that you won’t violate it – it also means that you trust the legal processes to make sensible judgements to balance the rights of all parties, to keep society functioning.

    So the current VC / management mindset that “we know better than to simply follow the rules and enforce the law” needs to be challenged, vigorously. The VCs have tried their “let’s allow these infringements because we think we have some higher insight, and knowledge than the accumulated wisdom which is already entrenched in our rules, laws and constitutions”. They’ve had their turn, they have been found wanting. Their approach has failed, with huge consequences for the majority of stakeholders. The universities need to be put under judicial management, or otherwise forced to operate according to principles of law.

    We don’t need anything special to solve the so-called “univeristy crisis”: just get back to regular enforcement of existing rules and law, and the problem will be solved.

  • September 27, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Remove post, found error

  • September 27, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    A few questions for the “fees must fall movement” at the NMMU. Let us start at the top?

    1. No communication from the President?

    2. No communication from any of the local political parties?

    3. No communication from the NMMU Chancellor?

    4. No communication from the NMMU Vice Chancellor?

    5. What is the economic impact of final year students not entering the workplace in 2017?

    6. What is the economic impact of mid-course students not entering the workplace in 2018/2019,2020?

    7. What is the impact of students who are on bursaries at present with jobs lined up based on completion?

    8. How many of the students protesting – are actually students and have student cards?

    9. Was the NMMU decision to in-source with fully paid benefits, all security and cleaners, the most financially beneficial solution?

    10. How much money is wasted on free global travel for NMMU post graduate students to present their “papers”worldwide?

    11. What is the impact to the thousands of full-time and contract staff of the NMMU and their families?

    12. The movement wants free non-colonial education. What non-global/colonial education material is currently available?

    13. Linked the above, how does a student who qualifies with African content only – compete in a global/colonial marketplace?

    Simple Solution:

    The army gets deployed to the NMMU and allows in students who want to study and staff who want to work

    Valid students found damaging property and disrupting staff/students get suspended from the NMMU

    Non-students found protesting and disrupting staff/students get arrested and formally charged

    National Treasury cuts back on wasteful expenditure and caters for free tertiary education for all WHO QUALIFY WITH THEIR GRADES


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