An agreement was reached to resume studies and cease all acts of violence after Free State Premier Ace Magashule consulted with different stakeholders, including university management, student and youth formations and labour organisations.
“We are pleased to learn that classes [have] resumed… We wish all students a peaceful, harmonious and productive study year of 2016.
“We will continue to keep a close watch on the situation and work together with all to ensure that solutions are reached to problems that are part of the system,” said the Premier’s spokesperson, Tiisetso Makhele.
The agreement was reached following incidents that affected programmes at the university. During the meeting held on Monday, parties agreed to ensure that negotiations between students, university management and labour unions will continue earnestly to ensure the smooth running of the university and to avoid similar incidents in future.
“We remain committed to our objective to ensure that education, as one of our key priorities, is used as a primary tool to transform the socio-economic realities of our country.
“We urge all parties to avoid confrontations, provocations and acts of violence at all costs. We urge all parties to ensure that racism is not used as a tool to divide our people and distract us from the noble goal of achieving a united, prosperous, non-racist and non-sexist South Africa,” said Makhele.
Makhele also encouraged all parties to work together in building a better society through education.
“The attempts to transform any section of society must be done within the laws of the land. No amount of violence can justify the nobility of a goal.”
The Office of the Premier also committed to continue engaging with all stakeholders in the higher education sector, including all Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in the province, broader education and culture fraternity and society.