Fort Hare management keeps campus open despite violent protest

Despite the violent protest that has seen academic activities grounding to a halt at the University of Fort Hare’s Alice campus, the management will not close the campus.

In a statement issued this afternoon by university's spokesman, Khotso Moabi, the management would only intensify security measures around the campus.

A fake statement issued in the name of the university vice-chancellor professor Sakhela Buhlungu that the campus Alice was closed indefinitely has been circulating on social media since the morning.

“The university condemns this narrative in the strongest terms and states for a fact that the university is continuing with its official business as expected.

"The university did not issue such a statement. We believe that some people together with some media elements have falsely and incorrectly manufactured a story of their own," Moabi said, adding that the university continued to assess and monitor the situation and was of the view that there was no reason to close the campus.

“We intend to finish and save the academic year for all the multitudes of students who are not part of the disruption. As a precautionary measure, we have heightened the security presence on campus to ensure safety for all concerned,” he said.

Moabi said they were in continued discussions with the student representatives and, “we are resolving the issues", he said.

He said, to ensure the management of the campus and to prohibit criminal elements taking any further shape, the university was securing an interdict and search warrants against the perpetrators.

“This will enable the security and police services to search for the stolen equipment and additional evidence on other criminal actions,” he said.

Moabi said at least two people were arrested in relation to the staff centre arson and the power outage incidents. Further arrests are expected to be made once the evidence has been presented to the law enforcement agencies,” he said.

Moabi said the total cost of the damage to university property amounted to about R5-million.

“External service providers are still to give us final determination of the value of the damage,” he said.

A staff centre was set alight last night. Last week students vandalised  university property and looted a bookstore situated on campus.

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