Students, police clash off Mahikeng campus - NWU

2015-10-26 13:47
NWU student protesters. Picture taken on October 20. (Saps, Twitter)

NWU student protesters. Picture taken on October 20. (Saps, Twitter)

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Johannesburg - Protesting students and police have reportedly clashed twice on Monday off North West University's (NWU) Mahikeng campus, amid continuing student protests in certain parts of the country.

NWU spokesperson Louis Jacobs told News24 there were clashes between students and police outside of campus around 07:00, with NWU hearing of further clashes later in the morning.

"Once again, indications are that it is off campus. We had discussions with the president of the student representative council (SRC) on the Mahikeng campus and he has given us the assurance that there are no incidents of damage of buildings or property on campus," Jacobs said.

"On the [Mahikeng] campus, we don't have serious incidents happening and protest action is continuing."

Jacobs said there was a constant dialogue between university management and members of the different SRCs on NWU's three campuses.

"We already communicated to our students that exams have been postponed to next week," he said.

"We are confident that we can still work towards achieving that and so students can start writing exams next week [Monday] in a situation where they can focus on their academics."

According to SABC News, Monday morning's clashes saw police use rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse students.

The students were reportedly throwing stones at cars passing near the university.

Mahikeng campus SRC President Benz Mabengwane told the broadcaster students were calling for the university to adopt the president’s ruling.

"Although the president has made an announcement we must all know that actually there is what we call institutional autonomy," he said.

"Then the council of the university must decide as to whether they align themselves with the decision of the President or not. That is why we have not stopped with our protests, we are still continuing and we will ensure that we never rest until the council has also confirmed that they are going to align with the decision of the president."

No fee increase

On Friday, President Jacob Zuma announced there would be a 0% fee increase at all universities in 2016, following over a week of protests by students at campuses across South Africa.

The protests against rising university fees were sparked by Wits University students protesting against a then-proposed 10.5% fee increase.

On Monday, there were reports classes at the University of Pretoria disrupted, while both the University of Cape Town and Wits University remained closed. There were also reports of clashes at the University of Venda, while Butterworth police are monitoring Walter Sisulu University where students had barricaded the M2 highway.

Students are said to have burned tyres while shouting “fees must fall”. The situation has been contained but demonstrations are continuing inside the campus.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  education  |  university fees

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