Sasco threatens to shut down Nelson Mandela University

2018-05-02 11:05
NMU students gather during a protest organised by the South African Students Congress. (Werner Hills, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

NMU students gather during a protest organised by the South African Students Congress. (Werner Hills, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

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Students at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) have threatened to embark on mass protests until the institution meets their demands.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the South African Students Congress (Sasco) said class boycotts and shutdowns were "tactics of struggle".

Students demanded that the institution speeds up the process of implementing free education.

In December 2017, former president Jacob Zuma announced that education for the poor and working class should be free from 2018.

"Sasco believes that government, universities, together with the private sector, should be more creative in finding ways of implementing this announcement so that students, particularly those that are already in the system, are able to receive their various allowances and support material to participate in academic activities from an equal footing," the statement read.

READ: Shots fired at journalist outside NMU

Threats

According to Sasco the protection services department at the university has collapsed and the department had to be restructured, "both at an operational and strategic level".

"We cannot accept that our campuses have become spaces where women are being raped and harassed. Students are being robbed and unauthorised personnel are walking around our campuses with arms."

Sasco said there was also a serious lack of effective and efficient shuttle services and added that the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has failed students living on and off campus.

According to them, many off-campus students have received threats from residence management that they would be evicted.

In return, the university said they were aware of the call on social media for a shutdown.

The university said all gates at the campus would remain open to allow activities to continue.

Dean of Students Luthando Jack has confirmed that there was unhappiness among students concerning various issues.

Jack said he and other senior management were trying to set up meetings with the student representative council to discuss their concerns.

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Read more on:    nmu  |  port elizabeth  |  university protests  |  university fees

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