Aggrieved students of the closed Mahikeng campus of the North West University have accused the vice-chancellor Professor Dan Kgwadi and management of being arrogant and not willing to listen to the concern of students.
At the meeting of the North West University students and management on Sunday ahead of the reopening of the campus next week, Tshepo Mohlomi who is the provincial coordinator of the South African Students Congress, warned that the management of the school had to meet their demands to ensure stability on campus.
“The closure of the campus had serious ramifications to black students. We are prepared to make sure there is stability in campus, but only if management is willing to meet our demands.”
Activities at the Mahikeng campus were shut down after an administration building and a science laboratory were burnt to ashes by students during their protests of the inauguration of the new Student Representative Council.
Mohlomi said: “The war is not over and we understand that we are working with the management that sometimes does not listen to the concerns of the students.
He promised that the students are ready to engage until an agreement is reached. “It’s not that it’s all rosy and that the road has got carpets, we are still going to speak about our challenges,” he said.
However, Prof. Kgwadi pointed out that the problem with saying the Mahikeng campus was that there was no symbol of leadership which led to lack of student culture. The students at the campus are more concerned with throwing parties than facing their studies and grooming a good character.
He observed that the university held structural meetings with the Mahikeng campus more than with their two sister campuses – in Potchefstroom and Vaal joined together.
“The problem with Mahikeng campus is that there is no continuity of leadership.
“There are no events taking place, there is no student culture, all they think of is a bash (parties), that’s it,” he said.
Prof. Kgwadi explained that the management actually finds it difficult to even ascertain what resources the students actually need because there is no real student life in the campus.
Kgwadi said the university management wanted to assist the students in building their capacity and also venture into student activities on campus.
“It therefore takes the change of a mindset at leadership level so that we know what the issues are that we need to focus on. The bash at Mahikeng campus takes the money away instead of bring it in.
“That is where we have to look at and say how come other universities raise millions of rand but not this campus,” he said.
Apparently, the students will have to choose between their bash and real school activities.