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Uncertainty at city varsity

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A decision was made last week by the university to suspend classes “in the interests of the safety of all and to avoid any confrontations”

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UNCERTAINTY still prevailed yesterday as to whether classes would resume at the Sol Plaatje University today.

Classes at Sol Plaatje University (SPU) in Kimberley were suspended last week and students have threatened that classes will not resume if management does not meet several demands.

Yesterday, SPU senior manager: communication and marketing, Kashini Maistry said that university management and the student representative council (SRC) are still engaged in discussions.

“These meetings continued over the weekend and a decision on the resumption of the academic programme will be made soon,” Maistry said.

A decision was made last week by the university to suspend classes “in the interests of the safety of all and to avoid any confrontations”.

Maistry said that this decision came after a call for a suspension of classes by the SPU SRC.

“The SRC will hold a student assembly to discuss the call by the South African Union of Students (SAUS) for a national shutdown of the higher education sector.”

However, SRC spokesperson Itumeleng Senye said at the time that classes were not suspended due to the SAUS call but rather as a result of the SPU’s failure to respond to several demands raised by students.

These demands include the current “accommodation crisis”, where several students have still not been allocated accommodation; the “financial exclusion” of students, where historical debt has still not been wiped, as promised; and the “academic exclusion” of students, where first-year students who failed during 2018 where apparently not allowed to continue with their studies during 2019.

At the time of going to press yesterday, a meeting between the SRC and management to discuss the demands had still not concluded.

Senye said that while Kashini had indicated last week that classes would resume on Friday the students had vowed not to return to class before their demands are met.