NMMU cancels classes as protests continue across the country

BY CHARL BOSCH - OCTOBER 22, 2015

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) has announced the cancellation of its Teaching and Learning programme this afternoon, in order for students to attend a dialogue with management at the Madibaz Indoor Sports Centre at 13h00.

Three students were injured when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas after they staged a sitting protest outside the main North Campus yesterday, against the Department of Higher Education’s proposed six percent fee hike from next year.

Speaking in a statement earlier today, NMMU Vice-Chancellor Derrick Swartz said management had been made aware of a small number of students continuing to protest, despite all activities returning to normal today.

He also added that the action taken by police was uncalled for and that while it is within the rights of students to protest, “no-one has the rights to trample on the rights of others wishing to go on with their lives”.

“NMMU is committed to finding ways of alleviating the burdens of student debt and future fee levels on, particularly poor students, and throughout 2015 our staff and many students themselves have valiantly participated in literally hundreds of fundraising campaigns for bursary funds for students,” Swartz said.

“We are compassionate and support the quest for alleviation to economic hardship, but in doing so, we equally assert the rights of freedom of movement and being of ALL our staff and students. Let the best of the spirit and values of NMMU show itself”.

According to the latest reports, a large number of students have gathered outside the cafeteria on South Campus singing songs, while a police helicopter hovers above.

Meanwhile, police in Johannesburg have blocked off the Nelson Mandela Bridge as Wits and University of Johannesburg students have taken their march off campus and into the city. A short while ago, Fort Hare students blocked the university’s entrance with burning tyres and mattresses, while a reported 400 students from the university of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus, have gathered outside the Provincial Legislature.

In Cape Town, a reported 23 of the 29 student arrested after trespassing following yesterday’s descend on Parliament, have been released with a warning, while management at Rhodes University has announced that lectures would resume on Monday.

IMAGE sourced from @lukanyo_ on twitter

Related: 

PRESIDENCY CONFIRMS ZUMA WILL MEET WITH UNIVERSITY MANAGEMENT AND STUDENTS

STUDENT CRISIS: “ZUMA NEEDS TO SHOW LEADERSHIP” - MAIMANE

NENE FINISHES SPEECH AS CHAOS ERUPTS OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT

BLANKET UNIVERSITY FEE REDUCTION BENEFITS THE WEALTHY – SLOWS CHANGE

OPPOSITION BLAMES UNIVERSITY CRISIS ON BLADE

UNIVERSITY FUNDING IN A MESS - MAIMANE

NZIMANDE TO MEET WITH VC’S AS RUBBER BULLETS ARE FIRED IN GRAHAMSTOWN

STUDENT PROTEST OVER INCREASED FEES SHUTS DOWN RHODES UNIVERSITY

How EFF were thrown out of the National Assembly when they joined the #feesmustfall protest courtesy of Tribe2tribes Youtube Channel