Fort Hare student uproar over NSFAS funding shuts Alice campus
Two students were apparently injured when police fired rubber bullets to disperse a NSFAS protest at the University of Fort Hare's Alice campus on Tuesday.
All the academic activities were disrupted as students poured onto the campus ground and out the main gates to block the busy R63.
Student leaders claimed two protesters were injured and admitted at Victoria Hospital but this could not be officially confirmed.
On Monday, students held a mass meeting and demanded that vice-chancellor Sakhela Buhlungu came to explain why the university was not helping students file their appeals after being rejected for NSFAS funding.
SRC student services officer Zenathi Mbenya said:"Out of about 600 appeals, the UFH appeals committee rejected 490 appeals. Then, during the mass meeting, students agreed that vice-chancellor come address them. That did not happen. That is what angered the students."
Mbenya said that earlier this year an SRC delegation went to the NSFAS office in Cape Town to raise the matter.
"The agreement with NSFAS was that they would review those appeals. That has not happened and those students remain unfunded without getting any allowances."
Mbenya also accused the university of failing to send a digital registration "template" to NSFAS so that other qualifying students could apply for funding.
"The majority of those whose registration templates have not been sent are first year students. They have been struggling to make ends meet as they are solely rely on NSFAS for food and book allowances," he said.
UFH's institutional advancement director Thandi Mapukata was not immediately available for comment at the time of writing.
Attempts to get police comment from EC spokesman Captain Khaya Tonjeni were also not successful.