Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and Nelson Mandela University (NMU) were forced to suspend lectures this week.
Protests regarding student funding and accommodation shut down NMU on Wednesday, prompting the university to invoke an interdict which had been obtained from the High Court last June. In terms of the interdict, picketers may not interfere with, obstruct or disrupt university and academic activity; damage property; contravene university rules or intimidate other students or staff. Management met with students yesterday afternoon (March 7) where a Clearing House was established comprising of university departments and the SRC to deal with students’ issues on an individual case basis. Normal operations resumed this morning with no reports of protest action thus far.
Disgruntled TUT students disrupted classes earlier this week to draw attention to their demands for meal allowances from the National Student Financial Scheme (NSFAS) and more accommodation. A march to the office of Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor resulted in police using stun grenades to disperse the crowds. On Wednesday (March 6), students were advised to vacate their residences. SRC president Lucky Nkambule has stated however, that it’s not obligatory for students to leave. He went on to say that despite concerns over the amount of work students will be missing, they could not be expected to study on empty stomachs.