Ricochet News

UPDATE: NMMU appeals for calm while it's working to get classes underway

OCTOBER 19, 2016
UPDATE: NMMU appeals for calm while it's working to get classes underway

Update 16:00

It has been confirmed that during the course of events 31 students have been arrested at the NMMU campus on Wednesday. Eight students were arrested in the morning and 23 during the rest of the day.

"Their ages range from 19 to 30 years.  They were arrested in connection with incidents of public violence on the campus, which includes the continuous stoning of SAPS members," said the SAPS Brigadier Sally de Beer. 

"The SAPS once again calls on students, student leaders and all other role players to act within the confines of the law and to exercise their democratic right to vote peacefully."

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) on Wednesday morning said that it has assessed the current situation on all its campuses and has appealed for calm while it gets the academic year underway.

"Early today [Wednedsay], a large group of protesting students gathered, depositing stones in one of the designated protest areas. From here some entered the main building of Embizweni, and attempted to intimidate staff," the university said.

"The police dispersed the group, which then splintered into smaller groups, with one group moving onto Second Avenue to disrupt activities there.

"Police are continuing to respond to these isolated incidences."

The NMMU said that while South Campus suffered the brunt of these disruptions, North Campus was relatively unaffected.

"A great deal of misinformation was also shared this morning – creating unnecessary panic," it added. 

"Given the University’s very real need to resume classes in order to complete the 2016 year, we are asking staff and students to try to remain calm while the police attend to the present challenges.

"Please call 041 504 2009 or 504 3483 with all security concerns."

Meanwhile, six students are in custody after they were arrested by Port Elizabeth police following the violence witnessed at the NMMU's campuses.