Protesters started fires despite agreement with SRC - Fort Hare VC

2016-05-19 11:38
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Alice – Protesters set fire to parts of the University of Fort Hare campus despite an amicable meeting with the Student Representative Council on the same night, the university's vice chancellor told News24 in an interview on Thursday.

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The vice chancellor of the university's Alice campus in the Eastern Cape, Dr Mvuyo Tom, said management had held a three-hour meeting with the SRC and reached an agreement with them.

"We agreed on all of the issues and also agreed on the process that needs to [take place] with regards to certain points raised," Tom said.

One of the demands was that students who did not live in residences on campus should receive allowances for accommodation and transport before the end of the first semester.

With regards to the accommodation and transport issue, Tom said the parties had agreed that the matter would be suspended until it had been discussed by the university’s council. A decision would be made afterwards.

Tom said that, of the 16 issues raised, 12 were agreed upon on Wednesday evening, while the other four issues had been dealt with previously.

Situation to be assessed

Wednesday evening saw protesting Fort Hare students set fires on the Alice campus, only two days before the university's Centenary Celebrations are due to take place on Friday, May 20.

The students claimed that university management had not met all of their demands.

According to Tom, the university was going to assess the situation on Thursday morning, but police were on standby to keep the situation stable.

"There was certainly a lot of damage caused," he said.

- Read more: Protesting Fort Hare students set fire to campus building

He added that the students started the fires before receiving the report from the meeting between student representatives and management.

On Wednesday evening, the Fort Hare EFF Student Command tweeted that the African National Congress should be aware that students were getting impatient, and that "the country will burn".

The SRC was not immediately reachable for comment.

Twitter reactions

Many people took to Twitter to express their disappointment in the EFF's threats and the burning of the university’s property.

Read more on:    university of fort hare  |  east london  |  education  |  university protests

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