Ministry welcomes end to Medunsa strike

Johannesburg - The Higher Education Ministry on Friday welcomed the agreement between Medunsa students and university management which ended a two-week student strike.

Talks between the two parties started on 31 July, led by the department's director general Gwebinkundla Qonde, spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana said in a statement.

"We encourage continuous engagements and commonly established processes between management and the SRC on any matters henceforth, in ways that will mutually take the university community forward, especially the students."

The two parties reached an agreement on Thursday, to open the Ga-Rankuwa campus, north of Pretoria, for students, Medical University of SA (Medunsa) spokesperson Kgalema Mohuba said at the time.

"We expect that everything will return to normal by Monday. Police are still investigating the incidents and going through the CCTV footage," Mohuba said.

Both parties apparently reached an agreement late on Thursday afternoon before appearing in court.

Mohuba said a settlement was reached when the Student Representative Council agreed to certain conditions.

"The president of the SRC agreed to write and distribute a communiqué indicating that students would cease protests, stop vandalising the school's property and stop harassing our staff members."

Earlier in the day, the SA Medical Association called for an end to the ongoing strike.

The university was closed on Wednesday with management ordering students to vacate the premises. Students had been on strike for about two weeks demanding the removal of certain lecturers alleged to be failing students.

The students were also believed to be unhappy about renaming the campus as Sefako Makgatho.

Management said the decision to close the campus was informed by the stubborn behaviour of both the SRC and the student community.