‘War’ coming to NWU
The suspended EFF SRC president at North-West University (NWU) Mahikeng campus has vowed to bring war to the institution, starting with a mass demonstration tomorrow at its Potchefstroom campus.
“We are going to organise the highest level of mass demonstration that has ever been seen before. I will be in Potchefstroom this weekend organising. On Monday we are hitting Potchefstroom by storm,” said former SRC president Benz Mabengwane.
He said he would also fight the three-year suspension the university had slapped on him.
Thousands of students were left stranded on Thursday when the university gave them three hours to leave after violent protests. Students disrupted the inauguration of an SRC appointed by management after it dissolved the elected body and clashed with private security.
They torched buildings and a number of students and staff were injured.
Angry students called for their academic programme to be continued at the Vaal and Potchefstroom campuses.
“If they say Potch is not racist then they must use us as a barometer. They must take us there. We are all students of the university,” said BA communications student and Sasco branch secretary Dingaan Lorathu.
Many students said they had no racial conflict at Mahikeng campus.
Third-year education student Michael Whittaker said: “I completely understand what the protest action was about and, as a student, I support it because we must be able to elect our own leaders, but I don’t understand at the same time why things had to escalate the way they did.
“I have never at all felt threatened or unwanted being one of a few white students here. But this sudden eviction is a challenge for me because I can’t afford to go home to Johannesburg now.”
Sasco urged the university to reopen the undamaged part of the campus.
Its president, Thabo Moloja, said students shouldn’t be sent to other campuses. “I don’t support the fact that because students at Mahikeng burnt the university down and it’s closed, they must now go to Potchefstroom.”
Buildings were set alight at North-West University’s Mahikeng campus this week after students protested against the suspension of a former SRC leader