NWU suspends activities after violent clashes on Mahikeng campus

(@Ndo_RSA via Twitter)
(@Ndo_RSA via Twitter)

Johannesburg – Violent clashes broke out at the North West University's Mahikeng campus on Wednesday afternoon, leaving a number of students injured and resulted in activities coming to a halt.

University spokesperson Koos Degenaar told News24 that the clashes began shortly after the campus's new Student Representative Council (SRC) was appointed in the Great Hall.

"The inauguration of a newly appointed SRC was held around 11:00 this morning on campus. When it started, a group of EFF Student Command members began disrupting proceedings by shouting and singing," Degenaar said.

Despite the disruptions, the proceedings continued and the programme was concluded by 12:30.

"As students left the venue, last year's suspended SRC president, Linda Mabengwane, began addressing students," Degenaar said. "Campus security dispersed the crowd, which led to clashes between security and students."

Pictures of bleeding individuals, said to have been part of the clashes at the university, were circulated on Twitter. One man could be seen bleeding from his forehead, while another was shown lying on the ground, face down with blood splatters around him.

Degenaar confirmed that campus security and police had used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. "They were firing rubber bullets and students were throwing stones back at the police," he said.

Mabengwane, who is a member of the EFF's Student Command, was suspended along with the rest of the SRC executive last year, Degenaar said.

"They don't approve of the current SRC [because] the previous SRC was dissolved. According to the constitution, they had become incapable of doing their jobs."

No arrests had been made. Those who were injured were treated at the campus clinic before being taken to a nearby hospital.

The atmosphere at the campus was still tense but stable, Degenaar said.

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