University suspends lectures

University suspends lectures

MASERU – THE National University of Lesotho (NUL) yesterday suspended lectures sine die after students went on strike demanding their allowances.

The police were quickly summoned and brought the situation under control.

At least five police officers were however injured during skirmishes with the students.

“At least one police officer was admitted as an out-patient after being stoned by the students,” police spokesperson Inspector Mpiti Mopeli said.

The police officer is the station commander of the Roma police.

“He was stoned on the mouth and sustained some injuries,” Mopeli said.

He said the other four police officers sustained minor injuries as they tried to control the students who were running amok.

No arrests were reported following the incident.

Meanwhile, the deputy secretary general of the Students Representative Council, Makhaola Thinyane, said only the first year students had received their allowances.

He said returning students were struggling to make ends meet after their payouts were delayed.

In a statement released yesterday, the Senate Executive said it had decided to suspend lectures with immediate effect.

The students, according to the press statement, have been on an illegal strike since Monday.

It said the students had not given the university authorities a notice of their intention to strike or reason for the rioting.

The statement said the NUL management had gathered that the students were not happy with delays by the NMDS to disburse their allowances.

The university management said it was working closely with the NMDS to fast-track the processing of students’ allowances.

Despite the progress that had been made, students had continued to riot, disrupting university activities and destroying property, the statement said.

The university said lectures would remain suspended until further notice.

Efforts to get comment from the NMDS failed last night.

Strikes over allowances are common at the NUL every academic year.

Property worth hundreds of thousands of maloti is often destroyed during the strikes.

More than 60 percent of NUL students are sponsored by the NMDS.

 Majara Molupe

 

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