Time for the healing to begin at UWC - SRC

2015-11-04 15:25
Akhona Landu (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Akhona Landu (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - Restoring relations between UWC students and the institution will take time, says SRC president Akhona Landu.

Landu was speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday after days of violent protests at the institution, which resulted in damage to campus property.

Contractors have since been on site to make repairs.

Landu said protests had escalated after students had seemingly felt that their frustration was falling on deaf ears.

"The students as well as the... institution are going to have to find a process whereby we can heal together," she said.

"Some protesters were traumatised by the security and the police who were called in while others feel violated that even though they didn't take part in the protests, they were affected by [the protestors'] behaviour.

"It's a healing process for us to restore [relations] and move forward."

SRC ‘sold us out’

On Tuesday, a mass meeting called by the SRC and held at the university's athletics stadium failed to take off as thousands of students booed the committee.

Shouts from the crowd included that the SRC "sold us out" and that the council "does not fight for us".

Also on Tuesday, vice-chancellor Tyrone Pretorius, the SRC and leaders of the UWC #FeesMustFall movement held a marathon meeting that lasted from 15:00 until almost midnight.

Following the meeting, it was agreed that UWC would, among other things, support the call for free education, there would be free registration for those with alternative means of funding their studies such as bursaries, students would be allowed to graduate even if they had outstanding debt and no salary increases should be accepted by the university's executive.

Deputy president Lukhanyiso Matebese said the SRC hoped to gain back the trust of students by making sure that the promises made my management were implemented.

"We still remain standing for students. We will continue to represent them, no matter what happens at the university and what we go through. The only way that relationship will be rebuilt and restored is by the SRC continuously showing students that we are there for them."

The student protests at UWC were part of a nationwide campaign across campuses against proposed fee hikes for 2016. President Jacob Zuma eventually conceded to students' demands, saying there would be a 0% increase.

Read more on:    uwc  |  cape town  |  education  |  university fees

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