Close to 250 South African students in Russia said they were at risk of evictions as they have not received their monthly stipends from the Mpumalanga department of education.
The desperate 229 students face eviction and possibly expulsion from universities across Russia because their benefactor has not paid their rent and tuition fees.
The students are fully funded by the Mpumalanga Department of Education as part of the Provincial Human Resource Development Strategy.
Victoria Maheso, who faces eviction as her accommodation fees haven’t been paid for the past three months, said she was scared as she was about to be homeless in a foreign country.
“Our livelihoods are in danger. My landlord was here yesterday evening to tell me that my deadline is on Monday. If my accommodation is not paid for by Monday morning, I should have my things out of the place. I am officially going to be homeless. I am scared, this is why I am speaking out.
“I don’t know what is going to happen to me on Monday. I know the department is not going to pay on Monday. Moscow is getting colder every day. As I am talking temperatures outside are 8 degrees Celsius.”
Maheso is also facing a possible expulsion from the institution where she is studying.
“The dean put me on the expulsion list because I don’t have my tuition paid for. We are final-year students, and I am supposed to be graduating at the end of the year. How am I expected to graduate if I am going to deal with such things? I am unable to even close my eyes and rest properly because I am afraid of the landlord walking in and telling me to take my things and leave,” she said.
The final-year student in applied mathematics in computer science said she was speaking out to find assistance.
She said about 20% of the South African students have already been expelled from their institutions.
Source: Eyewitness News, Times Live, IOL, The South African, image from Twitter: @Sandile_Panther