(Received from NMMU today)
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University sincerely apologises that university operations have been disrupted in spite of our best efforts to prevent this.
We are acutely aware of the negative impact that this is having on our academic activities and operations, but more importantly on our students and their families.
The University wishes to affirm its belief that the NMMU community must uphold both the right to peaceful protest and the rights of others wishing to continue with their studies. Thus far, and after careful consideration, Management has elected not to use force to restore operations. Forceful interventions at other universities have shown that this tends to escalate conflict and delays reaching a peaceful resolution.
NMMU management continues to openly engage with relevant role players, both institutional and national, to re-open the University soonest.
Failure to do so, could lead to the following:
- The academic programme being compromised to the extent that we will reach a point where the academic calendar for the year will have to be significantly adjusted, and possibly extended into 2017.
- The postponement of the summer graduation along with the possibility that some of our final-year students cannot graduate in 2017.
- The University operations being severely compromised, including processing applications for admission to academic programmes for 2017, as well as the financial support for qualifying students.
The University is currently developing contingency plans to minimise the impact of the shut down on our academic activities and operations going forward. We will update you on these measures as soon as they have been finalised.
We understand that the present uncertainty is causing considerable anxiety and frustration. However, our main responsibility is to provide a safe environment conducive to learning for all our students and staff.
Dr Sibongile Muthwa
Editor: We South Africans need to unlearn many of the painful lessons from the days of Apartheid which taught citizens that violence and the threat thereof were the only ways that we could bring about meaningful change.
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