NMMU to reopen, #FeesMustFall vow to keep it shut

2016-10-07 10:39
Students protest at NMMU in Port Elizabeth. (Derrick Spies, News24)

Students protest at NMMU in Port Elizabeth. (Derrick Spies, News24)

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Port Elizabeth - The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University has announced that it will resume activities on Friday in preparation for the reopening of the institution on Monday.

The announcement has triggered a severe backlash on social media from students who are part of the #FeesMustFall movement, who have vowed to ensure the campuses remain closed.

The university’s change in stance comes just hours after a letter of demand was served on it by the Concerned Association of Parents and Others for Tertiary Education at Universities (CAPTU) in which they threatened legal action against the university should it not reopen.

“Our client represents approximately 2 000 concerned parents, students, and others, and are deeply concerned that the present state of affairs will result in irreparable harm to the students of NMMU and will have far reaching economic, and other consequences which will be fully dealt with in court papers, if necessary,” the letter said.

CAPTU said should the university fail to open, they would seek a court order to ensure the university was reopened and that appropriate measures would be taken to ensure the safety of students wishing to attend classes. This included the appointment of additional security as well as forcing the university to bring charges against students breaking the law and getting the police to intervene.

Engagement

In a statement issued late on Thursday night university management said that, while it supported the call to widen access to quality higher education for academically deserving, financially needy students, all avenues to resolve the deadlock relating to the #FeesMustFall demands had been explored.

“NMMU remains committed to exploring all possible avenues to ensure that no academically deserving students are excluded from continuing their studies on financial grounds. To this end, students are urged to participate in the multi-stakeholder Financial Aid Task Team, established specially to work on this particular issue.

“While these engagements are ongoing, university operations and lectures need to restart in the interests of all students to ensure that the 2016 academic calendar is completed this year.”

The university management said it had done a thorough assessment of the situation with its various faculties over the past week and it was clear that if classes did not resume on Monday it could not guarantee the completion of academic activities for the year.

“Extending the shutdown beyond this point will negatively impact the academic performance of students and put at risk the ability to complete their studies.”

NMMU will remain shut - #FeesMustFall movement

The NMMU #FeesMustFall movement reacted to the announcement on their Facebook Page by saying the university was undermining the cause and did not take the movement seriously.

“As such, we the People's Management want to reassure students that the institution will be shut down till further notice. Thank you very much and we shall meet at the picket lines!” they posted.

A number of students responded to the post. Some criticised the movement, while others said they would come out and support them in their call to keep the university closed.

 “Clearly nmmu management did not learn a thing from Wits and UCT” posted Sanele Mqhinebe Matiwane

“Niyasinyela nina. Are u insane. Who wants to shutdown the university at this time? U need to grow like seriously,” said Loxy Chulu.

“Are you sure you're doing this for 'students'? Please, just stop this already! STUDENTS want to get back to class!” posted Loyiso Mtshizana.

“Foward with free education combrades, we shall show NMMU tht the Varsity is in our hands now.......#We are the management# therefore the reopening of NMMU depends on us.......they must stop undermining us. AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANDLA!!” [sic] posted Reuben Assassinator Mancam. 


Read more on:    feesmustfall  |  nmmu  |  port elizabeth  |  university protests  |  education  |  university fees

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