All Fort Hare campuses to be evacuated amid 'intimidation and violence'

2020-03-05 09:27
University of Fort Hare students and police face off. (Supplied by SAPS)

University of Fort Hare students and police face off. (Supplied by SAPS)

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Students at the University of Fort Hare (UFH) were told to evacuate all its campuses by 18:00 on Thursday.

In a letter sent to staff and students at 06:00 on Thursday, UFH vice-chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu wrote the university has been experiencing "ongoing intimidation of and violence against staff, students and members of the public" as well as "looting and damage to property" since 24 February. 

READ | Fort Hare students struggle to cope after 13 deaths recorded at the university in 2019

On 25 February, UFH management was forced to suspend academic activity and release staff at its Alice campus due to violent student protests which included chasing staff out of offices, leading to a complete disruption of campus operations, UFH wrote on its website.

To restore calm and stability, the registrar invoked an existing court interdict which prevents students from disrupting campus operations. 

Despite this, Buhlungu wrote that teaching and registration have been impeded. 

"Management has taken the difficult decision to suspend the teaching programme on all campuses until further notice. All students are hereby instructed to leave campus and vacate their rooms in all university-owned and leased residences with all their belongings and return home."

Buhlungu said the deadline for vacating the campuses was 18:00 on Thursday. 

UFH spokesperson Tandi Mapukata could not be reached for comment, but a senior staff member at the university confirmed the authenticity of the letter to News24. 

Irate students took to Twitter to vent their anger.

Read the letter here:

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