UFS to remain shut until October 28

2016-10-13 13:46
Security clash with students at UFS (Jeanette Chabalala, News24, file)

Security clash with students at UFS (Jeanette Chabalala, News24, file)

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Bloemfontein - The University of the Free State will remain closed until October 28, it said on Thursday.

The university wanted time to readjust the academic calendar and ensure that all students could complete their studies, spokesperson Lacea Loader said in a statement on the UFS website.

"The senior leadership of the University of the Free State has carefully analysed all the risks facing the university in the current national crisis in higher education, which includes the possibility of losing the academic year," Loader said.

Loader said management had held back-to-back meetings with student leaders, police, and others over the past two days in an attempt to ensure the safety of all parties.

"Unfortunately, we have been unable to arrive at an agreement about the resumption of the academic year, regardless of the timing of the government response to students’ demands."

The Bloemfontein and South campuses would be closed for undergraduate and honours students. However, administrative and academic staff, master's and doctoral students, would be working.

Students in residence had to vacate their rooms by 12:00 on Saturday, October 15.

Arrangements would be made to accommodate international, masters and doctoral students.

"The UFS condemns in the strongest terms violence as a methodology to achieve ends in the context of a democratic state."

A total of 51 students were arrested on Monday on charges of contravening a court order. They were released by the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court without having to pay bail.

On Monday evening, students threw stones at police as officers tried to remove them from campus. Earlier that day, students disrupted classes and exams on the Bloemfontein campus.

Security guards used paintball guns to disperse protesters outside computer labs on the main campus.

The Student Representative Council cancelled its media briefing, following running battles with police.

Read more on:    ufs  |  bloemfontein  |  university protests
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