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WATCH: Fort Hare East London students vow to continue protest until demands met

By Yolanda Palezweni - Mar 16, 2017
WATCH: Fort Hare East London students vow to continue protest until demands met

Disgruntled students at the University of Fort Hare’s East London Campus on Wednesday vowed to shut down the campus and continue with their now week-long protest claiming that the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, had refused to address them.

The students said that they had invited the Vice Chancellor to give feedback on how the institution would resolve their grievances at a student mass meeting held on campus on Monday afternoon.

A list of grievances was handed to university on Thursday last week and have not been attending classes since then.

“We handed over the Memorandum to the management and they accepted it indicating that some of the things stated were new to them and they promised to deliberate on them,” Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) Branch Chairperson, Zukisani Nyewe, told RNEWS.

The students are demanding that the university implements a bus shuttle service to transport students to and from the campus claiming that they are fall victim to crime every day.

They are also demanding that the university provides residence as more than 250 students are still without accommodation. Another demand is that the 8% tuition fee increment implemented this year be scrapped off.

Apparently, a meeting was held between the Student Representative Council (SRC) and management last week Friday to map a way forward. However, the students decided to continue with their protest until the solutions are implemented.

“We've been having mass meetings and we not interested in the Vice Chancellor’s response to our grievances, but the implementation of resolutions to our demands, until then we'll continue with the strike,” said one student, who spoke to RNEWS on condition of anonymity.

Again on Tuesday, the SRC had a meeting with management where the Vice Chancellor reportedly responded to the students’ list of grievances.

“We sat a meeting with the Vice Chancellor and he refused to address the students and he told us relay his feedback to them.

“It was then decided by the students to embark on a strike until Professor Buhlungu reconsiders his decision [and comes and addresses the students himself],” said SRC Leader at the East London Campus, Sonwabiso Mamkeli.

He added that, the protest will continue until Prof Buhlungu addresses the student sand all their demands are met and the resolutions are implemented.

Students, however, were observed looting and disrupting traffic in the streets of Quigney, East London, with burning tires.

Local police have been monitoring the protest and quickly contained the situation.

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