Fort Hare university closes nursing department after student boycott
The students are demanding the removal of their acting head of department‚ Ntombana Rala‚ whom they accuse of running the department ‘like her own farm’
University of Fort Hare management has closed the department of nursing science until further notice.
In a letter signed by the university’s vice-chancellor Prof Sakhela Buhlungu‚ nursing students are further instructed "to stay away from the East London campus".
The closure comes almost three weeks after the students began boycotting classes, demanding the removal of their acting head of department‚ Ntombana Rala‚ whom they accuse of running the department "like her own farm".
The letter further instructs the students to return to the university on August 30 with their parents or guardians and to sign an undertaking distancing themselves from acts of violence‚ intimidation‚ damage to property‚ death threats and disruption of classes.
University management said it would deploy additional security to ensure improved campus safety.
"To ensure continued safety‚ management will also secure an urgent court interdict to prevent ongoing violence‚ intimidation and damage to property."
The ANC Youth League on the campus has since released a statement declaring their unwavering support for the nursing students.
"The ANC Youth League will fully rally behind all nursing science students … until the management opens fair processes of engagement and agreements‚ we will stick and remain unshaken standing firm and not going back to classes‚" read the statement.
The Youth League has also labelled the closure of the department of nursing sciences as pure arrogance‚ "with no intention of solving these issues in a proper manner of engagements. Therefore‚ a line of march must be clear to the management. We are unshaken."