Campus peace not on cards

UFH students demand removal of IntelliMali system as middleman

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Various scenes played out at two University of Fort Hare campuses over payment of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to students on Tuesday.
Hundreds of students at the Alice campus demonstrated outside the finance office, demanding the university do away with the IntelliMali system as a middleman in distributing money to the beneficiaries, while scores of students at the East London campus were queuing to be issued with Intellicards.
In January, the NSFAS said allowances would be paid into students’ bank accounts.
East London students went to collect their Intellicards on Wednesday. This was despite an agreement made at a mass meeting on Friday which resolved that students did not want IntelliMali being involved in distributing the money.
The demonstrations at the Alice campus brought academic activities to a standstill and students have vowed not to return to class until university management heeded their call.
They held a mass meeting at the university’s sport complex and agreed to not return to class until the university guaranteed them that the money would be deposited into their accounts.
Those already issued with cards, destroyed them in solidarity with those yet to receive them.
After the meeting, they marched to the finance office to stop the process of the issuing of the Intellicards.
South African Student Congress (Sasco) provincial executive committee member Phumlani Msenge, who is also a student at the Alice campus, told the Daily Dispatch students were determined to continue with the protest until intelliMali was no longer the middleman.
Alice campus SRC premier Life Mabaso distanced the SRC from the disruption of classes.
Mabaso said they had accepted the IntelliMali option because it was making things easier for students.
Premier of the East London campus Zanda Mapete said they were shocked to learn that students had received text messages on Tuesday that they should collect their Intellicards at the finance department.
“We met on Friday and students said they did not want IntelliMali involved in distributing the money. We sent that message to the management, but without giving us feedback to our communique, they contacted students behind our backs to collect their Intellicards,” she said...

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