The University of Venda has announced the resumption of all academic activities following a series of violent protests by students.
The protests first erupted on Monday, with students demanding improvements in various areas, including the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) allowances, WiFi access, and water supply at student accommodations.
The university’s spokesperson, Dr Takalani Dzaga, stated, “I should indicate that the overwhelming majority of issues that are contained in the memorandum handed over by students have already been dealt with.
“However, the issue of Nsfas, particularly the introduction of direct payment, is still a matter of concern for most institutions. We are actively engaging with Nsfas on behalf of our students to find a resolution.”
The protests took a violent turn on Wednesday when a police nyala was damaged, and a police van was allegedly petrol bombed. Disturbing videos circulating on social media depict students throwing stones at police vehicles and destroying traffic lights. It is worth noting that these incidents occurred outside the university’s premises.
Dr Dzaga expressed his condemnation of these acts, stating, “As the university management, we unequivocally condemn these violent acts in the strongest possible terms. We are committed to working closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure that all the instigators or perpetrators are brought to justice.”
While the extent of the damage caused during the protests is still being assessed, the university has pledged to cooperate fully with the authorities to hold those responsible accountable.