South Africa 25.2.2016 08:23 am

NWU campus could be closed for ‘months’

FILE PICTURE: Residents seen during a protest. Picture: Alaister Russell

FILE PICTURE: Residents seen during a protest. Picture: Alaister Russell

“Damages caused to the building is estimated to run into millions of rands”.

It could take between a month and two months for operations to resume at the North West University’s (NWU) Mafikeng campus following violent protests there on Wednesday.

Speaking to The Citizen on Thursday morning, director for marketing and communications, Koos Degenaar said the administration building was completely torched, which led to management taking a decision to advise all students to leave the campus.

“The damages caused to the building is estimated to run into millions of rands,” said Degenaar.

It was also reported that students set fire to a motorcycle belonging to a staff member as well as a trailer belonging to the security company.

It was also reported that the staff cafeteria was looted.

According to Degenaar, the protest, started when an event was scheduled during which the newly appointed Campus Student Representative Council (CSRC) was inaugurated.

“Just before the proceedings was about to start, a group of students, allegedly from the EFF student command and supporters of the dissolved CSRC, started to disrupt the event.

“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,” Degenaar said.

He denied reports that one protester was killed.

Several students were also injured.

Meanwhile Wednesday’s events happened amid an ongoing protest at the University of Pretoria (UP) over a language policy.

The protest action at UP led by the EFF Student Command (EFFSC) who are calling for the complete scrapping of the usage of Afrikaans, also saw clashes erupt between black and white students early this week.

-stevent@citizen.co.za

 

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