UFS Qwaqwa campus remains closed following protests

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27 students were arrested at the University of the Free State's Qwaqwa campus following clashes with law enforcement officers. A fire also erupted at one building. Photo: Supplied.

The University of the Free State’s Qwaqwa campus remains closed following clashes between protesting students and law enforcement officers on Tuesday.

Students were protesting against the deregistration of provisionally registered students, in particular, those awaiting application approval from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

UFS Spokesperson, Lacea Loader, said the Student Representative Council (SRC) presented a memorandum requesting the provisional registration deadline of 31 March 2017 be extended on Monday.

She said the SRC asked that a fundraising plan should be implemented for financially needy students.

“The campus management made a commitment to respond within the deadline stipulated in the memorandum. An interdict was served by the Sheriff later the same afternoon and additional security was deployed. After the meeting, violence erupted when a group of students started intimidating students, barricading the entrance to the campus, and damaging university property,” she told Courant.

27 students were arrested at the University of the Free State’s Qwaqwa campus following clashes with law enforcement officers. A fire also erupted at one building. Photo: Supplied.

“The violent protests and barricades spilled onto the provincial road to Phuthaditjhaba and several cars were damaged. Due to the imminent threat to the safety of staff and students on the campus, the senior leadership decided on 28 March 2017 to evacuate the residences and to close the campus temporarily until further notice,” Loader added.

A total of 27 students were arrested during the protests and have since been released on warning.

Moeketsi Mogotsi/Courant News