Eight Stellenbosch students get order for return to campus

2016-09-23 20:58
A protesting Stellenbosch student (Tammy Petersen, News24)

A protesting Stellenbosch student (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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WATCH: Student has seizure during #Occupy4FreeEducation protest

2016-09-21 13:28

Fresh footage has emerged of last week's #Occupy4FreeEducation protests at Stellenbosch University, where students were forcibly removed from the JS Gericke Library by private security. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Eight suspended Stellenbosch University (SU) students are allowed to return to their campus residence after being granted a court order, spokesperson Martin Viljoen said on Friday.

This was after SU received a spoliation order on Friday to allow eight of the suspended students back into their residence.

A spoliation order is issued when it can be shown that a person has been dispossessed of goods without due process having been followed. Further details of the order were not immediately known.

Earlier, more than 1000 students marched around campus to drum up support for free education, and for their fellow students' suspensions and interdicts to be lifted.

They were interdicted after some spent a night in the library last week after a meeting over fees and protested around the campus. They were not allowed to cause disruption or damage. Eleven of them were suspended.

Students were reacting to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande's announcement on Monday that universities could increase fees by up to 8% in 2017. Fees, would not however, be increased for poor students or those in the "missing middle" category.

Meanwhile, Rector and Vice Chancellor Wim de Williers said in a YouTube message posted on the university's website that SU supported fee-free education for poor students, and was doing everything to support academically deserving students.

''We certainly share the concern that higher education should be broadly accessible to as many people as possible," he said. He felt Nzimande's fee structure was a step in the right direction.

The university said it supported free university education, but this would require a significant state subsidy.

He said students had a right to peaceful protest, but not to occupy buildings, disrupt classes and tests. This was unacceptable.

The university had acted to protect students, staff and facilities, and it intended holding further discussion about fees.

''Let us all work together to ensure that the academic year continues, and is concluded successfully,'' he said.

 

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