Three North-West University (NWU) students have been expelled from the university during the past two weeks because of their illegal actions in two separate incidents recently.
In the first incident, a final-year BEd student has been expelled from the university following a disciplinary hearing. The Disciplinary Committee ruled that the student was guilty of assault of staff members and the destruction of university property. The student still has the right to appeal the outcome of the disciplinary process.
In the early hours of 6 March 2021, a small group of students of the NWU’s Mahikeng Campus, gathered at the main entrance of the campus to protest in support of calls for a national shutdown of universities. These students barricaded the entrance of the campus and caused complete mayhem that prevented staff and other students to access or exit the campus. During the protest action that lasted for almost the entire day, the protesters assaulted staff and vandalised university property. The assault resulted in the hospitalisation of two members of the university’s Protection Services. The evidence provided shows the student assaulting these staff members with rocks, breaking the gates and windows, burning chairs, and destroying security cameras.
The NWU empathises with academically deserving students who are unable to register due to financial constraints, and support constructive initiatives aimed at finding long-term sustainable solutions for higher education funding in our country. We have demonstrated our commitment for support by using our very constrained resources to cover registration costs for some of the deserving students. The assault of staff and students and vandalism are not ways and means of ensuring that academically deserving students get access to higher education, but are mere short-sighted and selfish ways that can only perpetuate their suffering.
In the second incident, two members of the Vanderbijlpark Campus Student Campus Council were also expelled, after their disciplinary hearing was concluded. Both members were found guilty for their actions during February 2021. They were found guilty of involvement in the university's business activities with third parties, involving owners of private accommodation. Their request for appeal has been denied.
”We welcome the Disciplinary Committees’ ruling regarding these students. It is regrettable that young persons’ lives have taken this turn. However, all of us including students must know that there are consequences for our actions and take accountability," remarked Prof Dan Kgwadi, principal and vice-chancellor of the NWU.
"The NWU has in the past few years experienced violence and vandalism that continue to cost the university financially and in other ways. I have repeatedly told our students and their parents and guardians that we have a zero-tolerance for violence and misconduct of any kind. We can have robust debate about issues without assaulting each other or damaging property or bringing the university’s name into disrepute. After all, we are at a university where difference of opinion and contestation of ideas are encouraged and promoted. I wish all our students can embrace constructive ways of resolving problems and avoid this kind of results. Regarding the business operations of the university, both staff and students must refrain from interfering or influencing the outcome of the university process in order for us to ensure transparency and fair business practices,” he added.
Issued by NWU Corporate Relations and Marketing
Enquiries: Louis Jacobs