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Wed May 25 07:17:49 SAST 2016

NWU students will get month’s notice of reopening

TMG Digital | 25 February, 2016 08:00

“It is likely to take a considerable period of time to restore operations” at North-West University (NWU) after buildings were burned during protests.

“Students will be given at least a month’s notice of the re-opening” of the NWU Mafikeng Campus‚ the institution said‚ after it advised students “to leave the campus immediately for their own safety”.

The university on Thursday denied reports that a protesters had been shot dead‚ while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) alleged that live ammunition had been used on “unarmed and defenceless student protesters” by “private security personnel”.

“Rumours have been spread about a student that was killed as a result of the intervention by security‚ but this is devoid of all truth‚” NWU said.

“It is‚ however‚ suspected that students were hurt during the clashes with security‚ but no confirmed information in this regard is available at this stage.”

The violence and vandalism on Wednesday started after members of the EFF’s Student Command disrupted the inauguration of the newly appointed Campus Student Representative Council (CSRC).

An NWU statement said: “The initial demonstrations started outside the Great Hall‚ after which they proceeded inside‚ and disrupted the event by singing and shouting while speakers were addressing the students”.

The university claimed that the “temporary-suspended” CSRC president‚ Linda (Benz) Mabengwane – an who is an EFFSC president – “arrived on campus and addressed a group of students”.

“Security deployed on campus then dispersed the crowd‚ which led to clashes between them and students.

“Security had to use teargas and rubber bullets to get the situation under control. The students were pelting security with stones‚ which led to further reactions by them.”

Clashes‚ looting and arson ensued.

Despite its claims that security personnel had used live ammunition‚ the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said called “on all students to be resilient and stand their ground”.

“The EFF calls on the immediate removal of private security at North West University who are using live ammunition against students.

“They must defend their campus against terrorists masquerading as campus security.”

“There are never grounds‚ under no circumstances‚ to use live ammunition against unarmed and defenseless student protestors‚ let alone by private security personnel.”

Ndlozi said it was aware “NWU vice Chancellor‚ Professor Dan Kgwadi has pronounced his affiliation to the African National CongressNC and said he will never allow the campus to be led by an EFF SRC”.

He said that the party’s “leadership is making arrangements to meet the NWU management to find a lasting and peaceful resolution to the situation”.

“It is a matter of fact that the EFF is the only political party that can provide peaceful and lasting solutions to challenge facing the country.”

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