University of Fort Hare management has closed the department of nursing science with immediate effect.
In a letter sent last night and signed by the university’s vice-chancellor professor Sakhela Buhlungu, nursing students are further instructed “to stay away from the East London campus”.
The closure comes almost three weeks after the students boycotted classes demanding the removal of their acting head of department, Ntombana Rala, who they accuse of running the department as “her own farm”.
The letter further instructs the students to return to the university on August 30, and are required to bring along their parents or guardians, “and will have to sign an undertaking distancing themselves from acts of violence, intimidation, damage to property, death threads and disruption of classes”.
The management said it would deploy additional security to ensure improved campus safety. “To ensure continued safety, management will also secure an urgent court interdict to prevent ongoing violence, intimidation and damage to property.”
The ANCYL on the campus has since released a statement declaring their unwavering support for the nursing students.
“The ANCYL will fully rally behind all Nursing Science Students and tomorrow, until the management opens fair processes of engagement and agreements, we will stick and remain unshaken standing firm and not going back to classes,” read the statement.
The ANCYL has also labelled the closure of the department of nursing sciences as pure arrogance, “with no intention of solving these issues in a proper manner of engagements. Therefore, a line of march must be clear to the management. We are unshaken.”