NWU evacuated, 2 Tshwane institutions closed

The North West University was closed after several buildings were set alight yesterday.

Several buildings were set alight at the North West University in Mafikeng. Picture: @PaidaSaurombe via Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Classes at the North West University (NWU) in Mafikeng have been suspended and students evacuated after clashes on campus on Wednesday.

Several buildings were set alight and police were called in to disperse protesting students and evacuate those staying at residences.

The sad state of such a great institution

A video posted by Delmain Faver (@faver_d) on

The university says a group of students, believed to be members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), disrupted the SRC inauguration ceremony and demanded the reinstatement of their president.

The institution has denied claims that a student was shot with live ammunition during the chaos.

Spokesperson Koos Deganaar said, "The university will be closed. We are just appealing to the students to go home for their own safety."

WATCH: Disruptions at NWU (Warning - This video contains scenes which may upset sensitive viewers)


Posted by Samantha Lekhetho on Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Meanwhile, university management at two Tshwane-based institutions have closed their campuses to protect staff and students.

The University of Pretoria has closed its Hatfield and Groenkloof campuses following a week of demonstrations related to its language policy.

Management says it has suspended academic activities for the rest of the week so it can further engage with student leaders on their language policy concerns.

WATCH: UP shut down after stand-off over Afrikaans

It says it is also implementing more stringent security measures and will enforce a zero-tolerance approach to disruption when the campuses reopen on Monday.

A group is demanding that Afrikaans be scrapped as a language of instruction.

At the same time, the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) shut down its Soshanguve campuses yesterday after fees-related protests turned violent. Students are demanding a R1,500 residence food allowance and an end to financial exclusion.


Meanwhile, at the University of the Free State (UFS) management has until this afternoon to respond to a list of demands from protesting students and workers, which includes a call for vice-chancellor Professor Jonathan Jansen to resign, an end to outsourcing and the renaming of buildings to black struggle heroes.

LISTEN: #UFS vice-chancellor speaks out after brawl

Management has been given until 3pm to respond.

Earlier this week protesters said that language transformation was one of their top concerns, however, nothing has been raised regarding this issue in the memorandum.

The university says protesters keep on changing their demands, which makes it difficult to resolve the situation.

Investigations into Monday evening's fight at the rugby game continues.

WATCH: Protesters disrupt UFS rugby match