Update on the unrest on the Mafikeng Campus

Géna Thompson -- Wed, 09/21/2016 - 09:38

Dear NWU community

Update on the unrest on the Mafikeng Campus and closure of Vaal Triangle Campus

Unrest at the Mafikeng Campus continued until after 20:00 last night. Protesting students clashed with the police outside the main entrance of the campus, and after attempts by the police to disperse the group, students ran back onto the university premises. Clashes continued on campus and police fired rubber rounds and teargas at students, after being continuously pelted with stones.

According to police, four students were arrested during the incidents and will be charged with public violence. Apart from minor damages caused to security cameras at the main entrance, no other university property was damaged.

The campus rector, Prof Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele had a brief meeting with some members of the SRC last night, but this meeting came to an abrupt end after being interrupted by some political structures at the campus. A mass meeting was held by the SRC and political structures late last night, but the outcome of the meeting is not yet known.

The situation seems to be calm this morning, and although campus activities will continue, the situation is closely monitored. The current unrest is caused by a small group of students and it is evident that the majority of the students want to focus on the completion of their academic programmes.

The decision was made to close the Vaal Triangle Campus for today, in the interest of the safety of staff and students and to protect university property. About 300 students are protesting outside the main entrance to the campus and the road has been barricaded with stones. As soon as a decision has been taken with regard to activities tomorrow, 22 September, you will be informed.

So far no incidents occurred on the Potchefstroom Campus.

All activities on the campuses are closely monitored.

We reiterate our call for protesting students to respect the rights of other students and the university property.