I have nowhere to go, says displaced North West University student
A 21-year-old law student at the North-West University's Mahikeng campus said she has no place to go after the institution decision to evacuate its residences on Thursday.
Nombuso Mahlangu, a final year law student, said they were sent SMS’s to evacuate the residence by the institution on Thursday at 11am.
The SMS which Nombuso shared with News24 reads, “You are requested to leave the campus within three hours after which police will start with evacuations of residence.”
Nombuso told News24 she and several other students have been displaced.
“I don’t know what I will do about accommodation. I am hoping that someone goes to the courts. Right now I am stranded... Not everyone is leaving. We can’t leave at such short notice. We have Namibian students, Swaziland students, students from Angola,” she told News24.
Chaos erupted at the institution on Wednesday when private security employed by the university clashed with students.
Students set fires during clashes with the security.
The violence broke out shortly after the new Student Representative Council (SRC) was appointed in the Great Hall.
Nombuso said she could see and smell the cloud of smoke as the campus burned. “The smoke was very strong from the security gate where we were sitting,” she said.
She claims the violence started when the security guards opened fire on students.
“I started hearing noises, I looked outside my window, I saw everyone running around. People were chanting because they are against the whole new SRC thing.
"Apparently, security guards open fire. They (students) started looting the old cafeteria. It was later around 6pm when we started seeing fire at the science centre,” she said. The institution has denied any claims that live ammunition was used against students by security.
NWU spokesperson Koos Degenaar said students were informed last night that they should vacate the university premises.
Degenaar said the university would make arrangements for students to go home.
“Arrangements will be made at the civic centre for students to go to their respective homes. The students will be allowed a place to stay at the civic centre outside campus. We have arranged to have beds so they can sleep while they arrange to go home. We sent the SMS last night,” he said.