Students, staff resume protest at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
Pretoria - Despite having placed its vice-chancellor on special leave pending the outcome of internal investigations the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University could still not resume academic activities today.
Even though the entrance of the university seemed like any other ordinary day, inside there is a "cat and mouse" game between protesting Student Representative Council members and staff members affiliated with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and the police.
University spokesperson, Dr Eric Pule, said despite hopes by university management that academic activities would be able to resume today, that had not been the case.
Pule said students and staff once more resumed their protest demanding for representatives to meet with the university council.
Pule said even though they had placed vice-chancellor professor Chris de Beer on special leave, it turned out protesters still wanted to meet with the council in order to address issues of residence infrastructure and other management issues.
Student Representative Council president, Innocent Chauke, also said they were yet to meet with the council regarding some of their outstanding issues raised, hence their continued stay away.
“It’s not just about the removal of the vice-chancellor, this issue is much bigger. He was also presiding over corrupt management as well and many more problems.”
And if any of the pictures posted by Chauke of police allegedly using rubber bullets and of areas burning on campus as well, academic activities do not look likely to resume some time soon.
Academic activities at the university have been suspended since July 29, when students and staff were barred from entering the university by protesting members.
Issues centered around the removal of the vice-chancellor and members of the executive management, infrastructure concerns and a lack of a conducive learning environment.
Pule said the continued protests were worrisome and could lead to the university being unable to finish the academic activities on time.