NMMU's second attempt to reopen again marred by violent clashes

OCTOBER 19, 2016

Another attempt by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) to re-open for the academic year on Wednesday morning after a month-long #FeesMustFall shutdown again saw violent clashes between public order police officers and protesting students. 

Many of the students, who had again turned up for classes had to go back home as things got out of hand. 

Violence had broken out at the NMMU on Tuesday morning when it had planned to resume the 2016 academic year. 

Meanwhile the NMMU advised students on its Facebook page that it was "aware that misinformation is being spread".

"Please revert official channel or call 041 504 2009 to verify information. Lock the doors to the venue that you are in should protesting students approach. Police and security are attending to isolated incidents," the university said.

"If we do not resume academic activities, we may not be able to complete the year. We hope we can bring the situation under control soon."

There is currently a heavy police presence on campus.

On Tuesday, the NMMU said that it remains committed to completing the academic year.

"The University is resolute in its intention to restore normalcy.  After four weeks of shutdown, the time available to salvage what remains of the 2016 academic year is dwindling and this puts the future of many of our students at risk.  In light of this, staff and students are advised that classes and University operations will continue tomorrow [Wednesday]," it said.

"A number of classes did resume on some of our campuses although there were some reports of disruptions today [Tuesday]."

As the situation remains tense at the NMMU, the Concerned Association of Parents and others for Tertiary Education at Universities (CAPTU), an association of disgruntled parents, who recently took the NMMU to court to force it to end its shutdown, on Tuesday said that it was monitoring developments before deciding on its next move.

CAPTU had on Monday said that it would not be pursuing court action against the NMMU after parties failed to reach an agreement at a mediation on Thursdaysince the university had indicated that it would re-open, which was what CAPTU wanted in the first place.

"The situation at NMMU is very dynamic and in a state of flux," described Sloan Wilson, from Sloan Wilson Attorneys and Conveyancers, in a email to parents.

"I, together with CAPTU management committee members, Kobus Gerber (chairman) and Bertus Griebenow were at the South Campus during the course of the morning and there were some incidents of violence. 

"It is impossible to determine what the outcome will be and we can only suggest that you monitor the situation via the media, NMMU communiques and social media."