Fort Hare closes campus after protest

Alice, Eastern Cape - The University of Fort Hare, in the Eastern Cape, temporarily closed its Alice campus on Tuesday after violent protests about increased residence fees.

“All the students are required to vacate the premises of the university by no later than 5pm on February 12,” university vice chancellor Mvuyo Tom said in a statement.

He said the continuing violent demonstrations, which were accompanied by the intimidation of staff and the destruction of property, had resulted in the closure of the campus until next Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Dispatch Online reported that students burnt tyres and blocked the university's entrance, preventing senior management from entering.

This happened despite a court order issued by the High Court in Bhisho preventing the students from protesting.

The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (Daso) said the increase in residence fees was unacceptable as most students were from poor families.

“Daso also objects to the shocking living conditions of the students,” said MP Atholl Trollip in a statement.

“Four students cannot be expected to share a room, which has been originally created for two students.”

He said a petition would be circulated to urge Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to intervene.

“We call on the minister to urgently intervene, as this disruption in education and inhumane living conditions cannot be allowed to prevail,” said Trollip. - Sapa