Call for UKZN Alumni to Take a Stand Against Destruction of University Property during Student UnrestGeneral

From left: Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, Dr Prenisha Sewpersadh and Ms Rekha Sugudhav.From left: Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, Dr Prenisha Sewpersadh and Ms Rekha Sugudhav.

A call has gone out for all UKZN alumni to take a strong stand against University property being destroyed or damaged during student unrest.

The call was made by alumnus Dr Prenisha Sewpersadh, who used social media to ask the alumni community to support a letter that she, accompanied by fellow UKZN alumnus Rekha Sugudhav handed over to the Vice-Chancellor of UKZN, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, condemning all violence and destruction of the tools and resources of learning and education.

Sewpersadh’s posts on the UKZN alumni Facebook page elicited varied responses and raised pertinent and relevant issues regarding current student protest actions. Notwithstanding the varied views, the common thread among the majority of respondents was that damage to and destruction of property was intolerable and should be condemned.

This is probably the first time an organised and concerted effort has been made on behalf of the alumni community to denounce the destruction of university property.

The letter, expressing concern on behalf of alumni members about the destruction and violence, was well received by the Vice-Chancellor who also welcomed the support of the alumni community.

Sewpersadh, who is awaiting a response to the letter, thanked alumni members who had shown support and who would continue to uphold, preserve and protect the sanctity of institutions of learning.

She said while disagreements and battles were often a result of competing legitimate interests, any person or party who resorted to violence and destruction as a means of achieving goals, had failed the very cause for which they were fighting.

‘When the properties, resources and tools of respected educational institutions are under siege there is a duty on each and every person who received an education from such an institution to stand up and protect what is essentially theirs.’

Prenisha Sewpersadh