Students threaten to shut down the University of Pretoria

By Drum Digital
25 January 2017

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) threatens to shut down the University of Pretoria (UP) if they refuse to register the senior students that were part of the # FEESMUSTFALL protest last year.

Sthembiso Ndlovu, the Secretary General for SAUS, said they are upset because UP wants the students to write the motivational letters and state reasons why they should be accepted back at the university. He says, right now there is no protest at UP and #Fees Must Fall protesters are lying low at the moment as they didn’t get their protests goals.

“We will shut the University down if they don’t take the students back to further their studies, and yes, we told the student not to write those letters because they don’t guarantee them that they will accepted,” Ndlovu said.

We called the University of Pretoria’s spokesperson Candice Jooste asking her:

Why do they want motivational letters from these students?

Candice: The University has sent letters to students who, among others, have criminal cases pending against them as a result of last year’s violent protest action. We have asked students to give reasons as to why their application for re-registration should be considered favourably and what undertakings they are willing to give to avoid similar incidents in 2017. The letter requests that students make representations.  A decisions on whether they be allowed to re-register will be made once the representations have been considered. Students are not obliged to make any incriminating statements. The University is doing this as it has a responsibility to ensure the academic programme continues without disruption and that we protect the interests of the student community, including the right to a safe place of learning.”

When is the deadline for those letters?

Candice:  “The deadline for submission was 23 January 2017,

Did you increase your Fees? If YES, by How many percent?

Candice:  There will be no fee increase for UP students with NSFAS funding and whose annual family income is less than R600 000 a year.  An 8% increase in fees applies to students whose annual family income is above the R600 000 thresholds.

What are the terms if these students are allowed to come back?

Candice:  Those students observe the laws of the country.

If they come back does that means they are never allowed to protest again? If they do strike again what will happen to them?

Candice:   The University respects student’s right to protest as long as it happens within the ambit of the law.”

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