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WATCH | University of the Free State students 'assault' senior staff member

22 May 2019 - 12:46 By Iavan Pijoos
A senior staff member at the University of the Free State was allegedly assaulted by students during a protest on Tuesday.
A senior staff member at the University of the Free State was allegedly assaulted by students during a protest on Tuesday.
Image: via Wikimedia Commons

The University of the Free State (UFS) on Wednesday said one of its senior staff members was allegedly assaulted by protesting students at the institution.

"This event, together with allegations of physical intimidation of students during the course of disruptions, are the subject of urgent investigation.

"Any such criminal conduct, as well as undue disruption of academic activities, will be dealt with in terms of the university's disciplinary processes and criminal law," said  UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader.  

Loader said the academic programme at the Bloemfontein campus was disrupted on Tuesday morning.

Loader said it seemed to be linked to a mass meeting called by the EFF student command on issues associated with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

"The demands raised at the mass meeting and during ensuing negotiations with students relate to the immediate payment of NSFAS allowances by the university.

"The university agreed with the student representative council of the Bloemfontein campus earlier this year that the NSFAS allowances will be paid to students during the first week of each month," Loader said.

However, Loader said students demanded immediate payment of allowances meant for the first week of June 2019.

She said the May 2019 allowances were already paid during the first week of the month.

"The university management will endeavour to engage with students to resolve further outstanding issues regarding NSFAS," she said.

The academic programme at the campus was continuing as normal on Wednesday.

Loader said security personnel were monitoring the situation.


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