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17/04/2019

Nelson Mandela University has been working to restore normal academic and other operations following disruptions on Wednesday.
 
A group of students barricaded entrances to the campuses, which was deemed to be in contravention of the standing interdict. This resulted in a standoff with the SA Police Service, who set off stun grenades after protesting students failed to disperse once the terms of a standing interdict were read out shortly before 1pm. The students subsequently retreated from the entrances.
 
The main issue relates to some senior students who did not receive NSFAS funding as a result of not meeting nationally-determined academic performance criteria. These students were subsequently requested to vacate off-campus accommodation.
 
The University remains committed to inclusive stakeholder engagement. To this end, a policy was crafted in consultation with the SRC, which was approved by Council in 2018. This policy formalises and guides engagement processes with students in terms of protocols and channels to be followed.
 
The policy was contravened which necessitated the enforcement of an existing interdict.
 
Over the last five years, the University has invested more than R300-million of its own resources in support of widening access to academically deserving students, especially from poor and working class backgrounds. 
 
While it remains committed to the principle of social justice and access for success, the University recognises that this should not negatively impact on the University’s sustainability and our key mandate of teaching and learning. 
 
Since the last student protest in March, nearly 2000 students who were unable to register for various reasons – ranging from a lack of funding to poor academic performance – were given a second chance at access to university tuition through a number of concessions by the University.
 
A total 1756 students, including 309 whose individual cases were assessed and dealt with by the Clearing House established then, were allowed registration through the various concessions.
 
In light of today’s disruptions, members of the SA Police Service and Protection Service will continue to monitor the situation and secure all campus entrances and facilities.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777
Zandile.Mbabela@mandela.ac.za