All Walter Sisulu University students now back in class

By Sino Majangaza

Order has returned to all Walter Sisulu University campuses as thousands of students flocked back to classes yesterday.

Heavily armed police clash with students at WSU. Picture: SINO MAJANGAZA

Academic activities resumed at Buffalo City and Ibika campuses yesterday after almost a month of protest action, chiefly over accommodation grievances.

Lectures at the Mthatha campus resumed a few weeks before the end of the first term.

Students want the university to do proper maintenance of its residences and say they do not meet the norms and standards of the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Ibika campus SRC president Siphelo Mkhungazwe said the students decided to “compromise” for the sake of their studies but they would continue engaging with management on the outstanding issues.

“The fact that we decided to return to lectures does not mean we have given up, but we had to compromise because of what is at stake [losing the academic year],” he said.

An SRC member at the Buffalo City campus, Xolelwa Sophangisa, said most of the issues they were raising were being addressed.

“Most of the residences were not meeting the standards and norms by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

“Students were taken out from two of the residences they were allocated to while other residences like Clark House, Gladstone and NBS are under renovations,” she said.

There were residences that did not have refrigerators and microwaves, and “that has been sorted out”.

“Regarding wi-fi, the management promised that all residences will have it early next month,” she said.

WSU spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo said the protest had delayed teaching “but because we have come to expect student protest action, we build in extra time for lectures.

“This means there will be less revision time at the end of this semester.”

Some issues raised by students were in planning and other had already been attended to, she added.

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