Thirteen student leaders from Lovedale TVET college remain barred from campus and academic life even though the rest of the student body is in class and will write exams.
Yesterday the college went back to classes after two months of violent protests.
Eleven students were arrested during the protests. Charges ranged from trespassing to violating a court order.
Lovedale College management was forced to close its main campus in Alice indefinitely after students burnt a building.
The college also sought a court order barring the students from entering the college premises.
The 13 claim that they have been suspended by the college as punishment for leading the protest.
Kwanda Kili, who was arrested with 10 others and is due to appear in court on June 28, said the suspension was a personal attack on a few student leaders and was not based on any principle.
“The court order was against all students of the college not just the 13, but strangely only 13 have been suspended on charges of contravening the court order,” said Kili.
The college could not hold SRC elections and the protesting students were led by individuals from several student organisations.
Athenkosi Manyela, Daso campus chairman, said their grievances included a lack of security on campus, a dearth of practicals in their academic programme and diminishing NSFAS allowances.
Manyela said the college had not followed correct procedures in suspending them. “If this was genuine we should have at least been subjected to a disciplinary process,” said Manyela.
Lovedale comprises three campuses at Alice, Zwelitsha Campus and King William’s Town.
Lovedale principal and CEO Luvuyo Ngubelanga said the 13 had intimidated lecturers and other staff members.
“There were high levels of violent threats. We told the police and the police arrested them. But on the day of their arrest some came into the college, threw petrol bombs and slaughtered some of the livestock bought by the college,” said Ngubelanga.
Ngubelanga said that the 13 would also have to undergo a disciplinary process which would determine if they would be allowed back onto campus. He added that he hoped “it will be concluded before the end of June”.