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Nelson Mandela University management has just concluded a meeting to assess the events that unfolded today, 2 September 2019. Early this morning, a group of protesting University students attempted to block entrances to the North and South campuses.

The reasons for today’s protest had not been formally communicated to University Management, in accordance with the mutually agreed engagement protocols.

The previous set of demands around safety and security issues have been addressed. This includes the safety and security measures that have been implemented over time as part of an overarching strategy.

The University could not allow the illegal blockading of entrances since it is in contravention of the standing interdict. 

As a result, security personnel and law enforcement agencies who were on the scene implemented measures to clear the barricades in order to ensure unimpeded access to the campuses. This resulted in a confrontation between the protesting students and law enforcement, which escalated rapidly and made the arrest of a number of students unavoidable.

While the channels of communication remain open, University Management has a responsibility to ensure that engagement results in conditions that allow operations to continue uninterrupted.

While Management concludes its assessment of the situation and stabilises the environment, a decision has been taken to suspend academic activities on campus tomorrow (3 September 2019).

Students are encouraged to use their time constructively to continue with their academic work and should liaise with their lecturers with regards to alternative study and test arrangements.

Academic staff members, in turn, should contact their students to offer assurances around the way forward regarding lost class time, tests, assignments and laboratory practicals.

Similarly, line managers are advised to maintain contact with their respective teams about work arrangements.

The University remains committed to amicable engagements on issues affecting staff and students, provided this is done within the established parameters.

Communication and Stakeholder Liaison

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777