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MBABANE – Violent protest actions are spreading like rash in local tertiary institutions.

Plates, trays and bread were just some of the items that went flying at the Swaziland College of Technology (SCOT) dining hall yesterday morning as students started what would be an all day class boycott.
On the receiving end of the thrown items was the college’s boarding master who took to the heels to save his life from the close to 200 angry students.
The bone of contention was an alleged irregularity in meals given to the students.

According to students who spoke on condition of anonymity, it all started during breakfast when they were told that there was no more milk for their soft porridge.
Other reported irregularities are said to be that some students were served eggs as protein during lunch while others were dished meat.
They said this had been going on for some time and when they enquired from the college authorities about the matter, they were told that the institution had no money.
What infuriated them was that they had paid tuition fee and their expectation was that all would run smoothly.

The crux of the matter, as explained by the students, was that the college administration did not want them to have student representative council (SRC) elections.
This has resulted in last year’s SRC still holding office and according to the students; a handover should have been done by March this year.
Adding salt to the wound, the SRC president was said not to be a student of the college anymore.

“This is a problem because we do not have anyone to address our issues as we have to communicate them through the SRC,” they said.
They related that they tried several times, without any success, to engage the administration to initiate the election process.

This was done by the SRC that should be outgoing and after seeing that the administration was not giving in to their demands, the students decided to call a mass meeting on Monday.
Yesterday morning, students took out their frustrations on the boarding master as they looted the school kitchen.

They helped themselves to bread, scones, eggs, and all they could lay their hands on.
According to the students, they did this because they needed the energy to be able to address the college management with full stomachs.

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