Student arrested as NMMU shutdown enters third week


Students protests prevent cars from entering the NMMU campus this morning.

PORT ELIZABETH - One student was arrested at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) on Monday morning following protests along University Way near the North Campus.

Police Spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said a 22-year-old student was arrested under the Criminal Matters Amendment Act, which came into effect last year June and relates to damage to essential infrastructure.

“Barricades were set a light and the road was damaged, the student is currently being detained at Humewood police station,” said Naidu.

Naidu said that in terms of the student protests this was the first time police made an arrest under the Criminal Matters Amendment Act.

She said the student would not be able to get bail at the police station and a formal bail application would have to be done at court.

Protesting students along University Way near North Campus have since dispersed but police and security officials remained on scene.

This is the third week in which NMMU is on a complete shutdown. Student were expected to hold a mass meeting later on Monday to continue talks on the campaign for free higher education and on whether to resume the academic activities or continue the shutdown.

NMMU said in a statement that management supported the establishment of a “free higher education system for the poor” and was of the view that all should be done to get the current sector funding crunch addressed.

Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Lebogang Hashatse agreed to support the student assembly by allowing shuttles to ferry students to campus.