PORT ELIZABETH, May 7 (ANA) – Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Port Elizabeth has called on students and staff to report incidents of intimidation and threats of violence to the university’s legal services.
This follows campus protests last week and alleged incidents of threats and intimidation via social media.
Classes at the institution resumed on Monday after South African Student Congress (SASCO) embarked on protest action to highlight the struggles of students who had not yet received their National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding.
Other demands included students calling for beefed up security and for the university to get more shuttles for students living off campus.
NMU has since made R38.8 million available to support NSFAS students who have not yet received their allowances for books, food and transport.
The interim funding will immediately assist close to 4000 students In a tweet on Monday NMU said that while it encourages the responsible use of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, it cautions that abuse of these platforms could lead to disciplinary action in line with the university’s code of conduct.
“The university has equally declared that it will do what is necessary to uphold the constitutional and human rights of staff and students. This means allowing protests provided that such protest is conducted peacefully and in accordance with the university’s code of conduct.
“This similarly means that the rights of students and staff wishing to access the university for work and study must and will be respected and protected, and that any form of intimidation and/or attempts to prevent of impede such access and the conducting of legitimate business of the university cannot and will not be tolerated.”
NMU said that acts of intimidation and threats were also in contravention of an interdict the institution obtained in an effort to protect the rights of staff and students and also to normalise university operations. NMU said it also reserved the right to follow due legal and disciplinary processes.