The following statement was released by NMMU earlier today:
In light of the confusion around what is presently happening on our campuses, it is important that we remind ourselves how we got where we are as Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
For four weeks during the shutdown Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) engaged with different student formations around various demands in a bid to resume the academic programme.
We were presented with six demands – all of which were met, bar two, which were deemed deal breakers.
- The national call for free, quality, decolonised higher education; and
- The clearance of all debt for students who qualified for debt and down-payment relief in 2016.
While NMMU is unable to meet the first demand since it is a national issue, it agreed to deploy resources that will hopefully inform the national roadmap towards this ideal.
Internally, the institution has committed towards debt resolution and has already invited student representatives to work in a task team to find sustainable solutions going forward.
Management and students found each other on these two key demands last Thursday (13 October). Following this agreement, the two matters were presented to Council the following day. After Council deliberations, these were endorsed and Council resolved accordingly.
As a result, NMMU was able to announce the resumption of operations on Monday 17 October and classes yesterday.
There is therefore no reason why the present disruptions should be happening.
Given what happened a week earlier when NMMU also announced its re-opening and there was a stand-off between police and protesting students blocking the entrances, the University sought a court interdict to guide the behavior of protesting students going forward.
The interdict allows for peaceful protest in designated areas, as well as the safe passage of those who wish to continue their studies.
As part of the commitment to continue engaging students, the University went to court yesterday to get the court ordered mediation to be reinstated.
This mediation has commenced.
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