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This article appeared in the Herald of 27 September 2016. 

NMMU management said late last night that in the light of the escalating protests, tension and violence, NMMU would remain suspended until further notice.

The decision followed an earlier management appeal to students to consider resuming lectures today -- and a promise to address any outstanding issues received in the various petitions handed over on Friday.

The university warned students that a continued shutdown could have dire results for final year and B-Tech students as well as those in their matric year.

A continued shutdown could result in the academic year being extended into 2017 as well as the possible postponement of the summer graduation – something that would ultimately stop final year students from graduating next year, the university said. NMMU management also said operations, including processing applications for admission to academic programmes for next year, as well as the financial support for qualifying students, would be compromised by a continued shutdown.

Acting vice-chancellor Dr Sibongile Muthwa met scores of students, some dressed in Sasco and EFF regalia, at the Kraal on south campus yesterday.

She said: “We have suspended the academic programme until there is a commitment from the students to make it possible for all students and staff to enter the university.”

University spokeswoman Zandile Mbabela warned that a 0% fee increase would result in a deficit of R383-million for the university by 2019.

“The financial health and sustainability of NMMU is at stake,” she said. 

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