Sol Plaatje University suspends academic activities due to protests

The Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley, Northern Cape has suspended all academic activities following violent student protests across the campus on Friday.

University spokesperson Kashini Maistry said a group of disgruntled students led by the student representative council, who are refusing to abide by the institution’s residence rules, embarked on protests on Friday morning.

“They have vandalised infrastructure, strewn garbage inside residences and examination venues and are attempting to disrupt the mid-year examinations,” she said in a statement.

“Students have attempted to disrupt construction activities. Any unauthorised entry into a construction site is illegal and the contractors are within their right to take measures to protect the sites and enforce the law.”

Maistry said the senior management team of the university took a decision to suspend all academic activities for Friday, adding that the management will reassess the situation on Monday.

“For this June/July vacation period, scheduled from 14 to 22 July 2022, the university has made a concession to allow students, for whom it is applicable, to only vacate their accommodation within 48 hours after their last supplementary examination. The supplementary examination period ends on 13 July 2022.

“The mid-year vacation and end-of-year vacation periods allow the university to provide major maintenance to the residences, generate third-stream income to further support student social relief fund initiatives and provide places for alumni, student development programmes and sporting codes to be accommodated at a nominal cost,” she said

“Students who cannot go home during the vacation periods due to extenuating factors can make an application to the residence office and will need to provide a motivation with evidence to support their request.”

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