North West University (NWU) has requested that all students vacate the Mahikeng campus by 3pm on Tuesday afternoon.
This after incidents of violence rocked the university on Monday, with the South African Union of Students (SAUS) calling for campuses across the country to be shut down, according to a statement.
NWU management said SAUS have been preventing people from entering the Mahikeng and Vaal Triangle campuses since Monday.
On Monday night, students were assaulted by senior students, and property was damaged. A case of assault has been opened at the Mmbatho police station.
“The safety of students and staff on campus is increasingly in jeopardy. Therefore, the university management has, after consultations with relevant stakeholders including the SAPS, resolved to close the campus until further notice…”
Management added that the “disruptive actions” have adversely affected the registration of first-year and returning students, as well as NSFAS applicants awaiting financial clearance, and that further protest action is expected at the Mahikeng campus on Tuesday.
eNCA reports that the SAUS protest action is a result of broken down discussions between the union and the Department of High Education, relating to indebted students being admitted to universities.
SAUS NEC member, Bongani Mahlangu told eNCA in an interview that after the union and the department came to an agreement, the department disregarded discussions and reverted the changes to be implemented in the new year.
Mahlangu said discussions had been ongoing since last year, and that they will continue to shut down tertiary campuses until demands are met.
(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)