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News in brief - Date: 27 March 2017
Written by: Elmon Tshikhudo / Viewed: 5907
The situation at the University of Venda was tense and volatile on Monday morning, with streets leading to the main campus in Thohoyandou barricaded with burning rubble and other heavy objects.
Police had their hands full as they battled to control the crowd that had gathered at most corners of the town, some holding placards that were used as shields. Police fired rubber bullets to disperse the students, who would scatter and regroup after a short while.
A group of non-participating students had gathered next to the park near Khoroni Hotel and police were ordering them to leave the place. According to reports, the students’s main concerns circle around the allocation of their NSFAS stipends which they say they depend on for their livelihood on campus.
Students who spoke on condition of anonymity said the amount allocated was too little and came late every month, which leftaves them starving. “Our parents know that we have been funded and they are now suspicious when we tell them that we do not have food. They think we are robbing them, and we do not have anything.” According to some of the students, they “go for days without meals and the meals at the cafeteria are very expensive.”
The students further indicated that they had a problem with accommodation, which they would like the university to solve. They say there were residences ready to be occupied but the university was not allocating rooms to the students.
They also touched on the issue of security, citing a case of a female student who was allegedly raped and a man who was stabbed and robbed of his belongings just outside campus.
Univen spokesperson Takalani Dzaga confirmed that students have blocked the entrance to the university. He said they had held a meeting with students the previous week to try and find a way out of the problem. “We are going to sit down again with the students and we are seeking a speedy resolution to the problem, so that students won’t lose much of their academic work. We will also engage NSFAS and see how they can help our students,” he said.
More news regarding the situation will be published in Friday’s printed edition of Limpopo Mirror.
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Chaos at the Univen access road this morning.
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.
Univen, university of venda, thohoyandou