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Classes to resume at city varsity on Monday

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University management granted an interim order by the high court against any students or persons who have disrupted the start to the academic year

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ACADEMIC classes at Sol Plaatje University will resume as from Monday after the Northern Cape High Court granted the university management an interim order to continue with learning.

This follows after student representative council (SRC) members and students had disrupted academic activities when they embarked on protest action in solidarity with institutions of higher education across the country.

Sol Plaatje University senior manager of communication and marketing Kashini Maistry said that staff would return to work on Thursday, March 25 (yesterday).

“The call by the South African Union of Students (SAUS) for a national shutdown of universities, which our SRC supported, had an adverse effect on the functioning of Sol Plaatje University over the past few days,” said Maistry yesterday.

“However, at this crucial time of the year it is important for us to resume our academic and administrative operations. To this end, the university management engaged in discussions with the SRC on March 23, which are set to continue on March 25, to find mutually agreeable solutions to the students’ demands.

“However, to ensure the protection of the rights of all the staff and students in the university to go about their business, the university management sought and was granted an interim order by the high court on March 24 against the SRC and any other students or persons who have disrupted the start to the academic year.

“In light of this, all staff are requested to return to work on campus on March 25 to prepare for the resumption of the academic year on Monday, March 29. A schedule for the phased return of students to campus, under the current lockdown Level 1, will be released soon.”

Maistry said that the court order outlined a number of conditions that prohibit students from continuing with their protest action or disruptions.

“The order prohibits the SRC and any other students or persons from blocking access to the university campuses; barricading or obstructing entrances and exits; threatening, assaulting, or intimidating staff, students and contractors; and disrupting or interfering with the academic, logistical and administrative operations of the university.

“The disruption or interference with any staff or contractors in the exercise of their duties, including interference with the free movement of vehicles and pedestrians or barricading the streets in the vicinity of the university campuses, is also prohibited.”

Maistry added that the registration of first-time students will continue at the end of this month.

“Late registration of first-time entering students and returning students will continue until March 31.

“We hope that the challenges associated with the student protests that we have experienced thus far will be resolved and that we can give our full focus to achieving another successful academic year.”