University of Venda remain closed after Chaos, Violence Over NSFAS Funding


By Agreement Mabunda

THOHOYANDOU-Students of the University of Venda Thohoyandou campus brought the university to a standstill on Tuesday evening, September 13, 2023, as they protested over NSFAS funding. The protest turned violent, with students burning one van and damaging one Nyala.

The protest began in the afternoon when students gathered at the university’s main entrance. They chanted slogans and waved placards demanding that NSFAS release their funding.

The Public Order Police unit was dispatched to the area together with the local police to defuse the situation.

The students barricaded the main gate with tyres and when police tried to disperse them, they threw stones at their vehicles. One Police’ nyala was damaged and a Police’ van was burned after the protesters allegedly lobbed a makeshift petrol bomb at the vehicle.

The protest soon turned violent, with students throwing stones and bottles at police officers. The police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

The Police managed to stabilise the situation and a case of public violence and two counts of malicious property damage were opened.

The protest was eventually dispersed by police, but the university remained closed on Wednesday, September 14, 2023.

The university said that it would remain closed until the situation had calmed down.

This is not the first time that students at Univen have protested over NSFAS funding. In 2021, students also protested over the issue, and the university was forced to close for several days.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe strongly condemn violent protests and vigilantism that took place in some parts of the Province.

“It is our duty to ensure that Limpopo remains a safe Province for all who live in it. We shall not tolerate any lawlessness.  I am calling every Sector of the Society to remain responsible in all their dealings. I want to warn those who continuously demonstrate their anger by acts of violence damaging property, and critical infrastructure including state resources that we shall stop at nothing to secure their arrest and convictions by our call. The instability caused by the taxi feud in some parts of the Province is condemned as it threatens the safety of others and will not be tolerated. ” Concluded the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Hadebe.

There are no arrests yet but Police investigations have been intensified to track down the suspects.

Anyone with information can contact Captain Takalani Siaga at 082 469 2302 or at 015 960 1000, the Crime Stop at 08600 10111 or the nearest Police Station or use  MySAPSapp.

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