Academic activities not suspended amid violent protests, says University of Limpopo

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Some University of Limpopo students are leaving campus, following a violent student protest yesterday. This is despite university management’s dismissal as fake news reports of a 24-hour evacuation notice for all occupants of the campus.

Protesting students went on a rampage yesterday over unpaid National Student Finacial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allowances for students that reside off-campus.

Workers at the University of Limpopo are cleaning up some of the debris from the protest, which ensued at the campus on Wednesday.

Students say they are unhappy over the non-payment of their NSFAS accommodation allowance. Some of the students say they have been only receiving R1000 for food monthly, but nothing for accommodation.

“I reside at gate one. It is tough to that extent that I have to ask my granny for her SASSA money so that I can be able to pay the rent and sometimes I have a shortage of food this month they gave us R1000, it has been affecting very bad because I was staying this side where I was paying one point eight and now I stay this side where I pay one point six, what am I supposed to eat?  Our landlord wants money, they don’t want stories that NSFAS they want money”, says one student.

VIDEO: University of Limpopo students protest over NSFAS payments


Meanwhile, students, who reside on campus, say they feel unsafe following the protests. Some of the students evacuated the campus a day after the protests.

‘University remains operational’

The University of Limpopo says it has not ordered students to leave campus. The university’s Communications Director, Victor Kgomo-e-swana says academic activities have also not been called off due to the protest action.

“First of all let’s say the university remains operational, it’s open, it is not closed, the students that are leaving are misguided, they have been misinformed, I know there was a clip of someone who was claiming to be advising the students to leave the campus for their own safety, it is an audio clip that was circulating, it is bogus it is faceless, Professor Mokgalong vice chancellor and principal of the university has never written a letter like that management has not even considered closing the university”, says Kgomo-e-swana.

Kgomo-e-swana says a team from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme has been deployed to the university. He says those who started the protest are against the decision for NSFAS to pay their landlords directly.

“NSFAS has deployed a team that will be coming to campus, they are on their way because at the heart of the protests is that some landlords people who own property of campus that occupies our students, NSFAS made a decision to pay the landlord directly and no longer the students. Some students objected that, some students persuaded landlords to resist that”, Kgomo-e-swana further explains.

The university is assessing the damage caused by the protest. In the meantime, security has been reinforced.

VIDEO: Protesting University of Limpopo students set alight a security guardhouse, uproot university fence