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UFS QwaQwa campus guards on high alert, academic programme moves online following arson attack

Security at the University of the Free State’s Qwa Qwa campus will remain on high alert following an arson attack this week. Learning will resume online, says UFS management. Picture: Facebook

Security at the University of the Free State’s Qwa Qwa campus will remain on high alert following an arson attack this week. Learning will resume online, says UFS management. Picture: Facebook

Published Apr 7, 2022

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Durban - The academic programme at the University of the Free State's QwaQwa campus will remain mostly online this week after two buildings were set alight during protests.

UFS director of communication and marketing, Lacea Loader, said students will be informed by their faculties about the revised schedule, as well as arrangements regarding tests and assessments scheduled for this week on the campus.

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"Students will be informed by their faculties about the revised schedule, as well as arrangements regarding tests and assessments scheduled for this week on the campus," Loader said.

While the campus remains open, UFS' Protection Services remain on high alert and will be monitoring.

The buildings, which housed the clinic and a computer laboratory, were almost completely destroyed, with damage to both buildings estimated at R35 million.

Loader said a registered student has been arrested and a process is under way to identify more suspects.

"The UFS will institute the necessary disciplinary action against suspects who are registered students. Similarly, criminal charges will also be instituted," Loader added.

It is alleged that students were unhappy about the payment of allowances they are due to receive from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in April 2022.

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Loader said to alleviate this, the UFS has so far this year offered students allowances for food and books amounting to more than R71 million, while they are waiting for their NSFAS subsidies to be released.

Meanwhile, NSFAS said it will begin processing payments this week. In a short statement issued on Tuesday, NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said it has received the first tranche of is budgetary allocation for the first quarter of the financial year.

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