UFS SRC calls off protest due to possible violence

2016-09-21 11:27
Students of the University of the Free State protest on campus. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Students of the University of the Free State protest on campus. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Bloemfontein – The University of the Free State (UFS) SRC has called off its fees protest over fears of violence.

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"The SRC has noted several violent incidents and accompanying threats during the two days of protests," said SRC president Lindokuhle Ntuli on his Facebook account.

"At no point will the SRC condone any form of violence, vandalism or intimidation.

"Threats of assault have been made to students who may opt not to join the movement and plans are afoot to forcefully remove students from residences," he said.

He said the SRC has also observed sabotage against its leadership. 

"For these reasons, the SRC is calling the protests off as they have shown the propensity to become violent and uncontrollable. The SRC cannot at any point over stress that the safety of our fellow students is paramount.

"As a freely and democratically elected highest student governance structure established in terms of the Higher Education Act 101, we have a duty to protect the life and limb of our fellow students. We cannot denounce militancy of police and private security and yet perpetrate the same actions against our own students."

Free quality education

He said the SRC had a clear stance on the campaign for free education. 

He said university management should not increase the fees or make any pronouncements on fee adjustments and added that management must commit itself to preventing the financial exclusion of students who cannot afford the high cost of fees.

Government must commit to free quality education for the poor and the missing middle, he said. 

On Monday Ntuli announced that campus would be shut down for the entire week.

This comes after Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande announced on Monday that universities could determine their own fee increments for 2017, but they should not exceed 8%. Poor students would not be affected.

Hundreds of students sang and danced as they disrupted classes at the university following the announcement.

The university announced on its website that academic and administration services would resume on September 26.

Read more on:    ufs  |  bloemfontein  |  education  |  university fees  |  university protests

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