North West police investigate four cases following student protests

3 minutes

The North West University’s Mahikeng Campus has opened cases of public violence and malicious damage to property with the police after violent activities during student protests at the campus this week.

Police say they are investigating at least four cases.

While the Campus has been closed since Tuesday, protesting students have maintained their presence, barricading roads leading to the campus.

North West University students ordered to vacate Mahikeng residence:

Security has been beefed up at the university following damage done to the main entrance and CCTV cameras, estimated at R120 000.

“During the evening of 16 March, protesters tried to force their way into the campus by breaking the lock to the main gate. They were however prevented from entering the campus. Later that evening, protesters also threw a petrol bomb at a guardhouse. Fortunately, the device did not explode but the windows of the guardhouse were broken. The CCTV cameras covering the areas we also tempered with,” says North West University spokesperson, Christopher Motabogi.

Student leaders are pleading innocence.

EFF Student Command’s Jeso Motlhanke says: “There is no student leader who has ever participated in such acts. We can confirm in writing and in saying that we remain to be clean as the students and as student leaders. So university half the time – they thrive through propaganda to sustain whatever the agenda they want to push.”

SASCO’s Bontle Kgari adds: “We will continue to hold our fort here at this gate. We are not going to move under any circumstances. The future of the students in this country depends on us fighting today.”

The university says the campus will remain closed until further notice.

“Although we would like all matters, including lack of funds to be addressed as a matter of urgency, we cannot regrettably resolve the issues that are beyond our mandate. We have received numerous requests from students to allow them to stay on campus due to travel and other challenges. These students must make arrangements with their respective student residence officers,” says Motabogi.

The protest at the university is part of a nationwide action by students demanding an end to financial exclusion at South Africa’s institutions of higher learning.

Comprehensive plan for 2021/22

The Ad Hoc Committee on section 100 Intervention in the North West has requested the North West Department of Education to provide a comprehensive infrastructure plan for the 2021/22 financial year, which will ensure spending of its budget.

The committee expressed concerns that the department continues to lose its infrastructure budget to other provinces due to underspending.

Campaign launched to raise R1 million for tertiary education students: