UP to tighten security when campuses reopen

2016-02-24 13:30
Students clashing with police and security at the University of Pretoria on Thursday. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Students clashing with police and security at the University of Pretoria on Thursday. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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TUKS students pray for peace

2016-02-23 14:06

On Tuesday, 23 February tens of students at the University of Pretoria formed a human chain and began to pray for unity and peace on campus. A diverse collective of students gathered and bowed in prayer. Their actions follow violent confrontations on campus over the institution's language policy and fee increased. Students assaulted security personnel and university staff during demonstrations on campus last week. Several students were arrested and appeared in court on Monday, 22 February on charges of public violence. They were supported by crowds of their peers who marched in Pretoria's streets.WATCH

Pretoria - The University of Pretoria management on Wednesday said it would be tightening security when academic activities resumed next week.

The university would, however, remain closed for the rest of the week as management was continuing to engage with student leaders and stakeholders in order to seek a way forward, Vice Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey said in a statement.

The meeting was said to be based on principles of peaceful non-violent engagement, to address the issues that have led to disruptions and the suspension of classes on two of the university's campuses.

"In the interests of the safety of all members of the University, and to allow normal academic operations to resume without further disturbance, we must ensure that sufficient, effective security measures are in place, before we reopen," said De la Rey.

"Implementing additional and more stringent security measures is necessary to ensure that we prevent further disruptions of the academic year."

The university said classes would not start this week.

"Classes on the Hatfield and Groenkloof campuses of the university will remain suspended for the rest of the current week (February 22 to 26th). The academic activities (all lectures, tests, tutorials etc. ) which were to have taken place this week will be re-scheduled. Staff and students will be informed of the revised schedules via the normal channels of Clickup, intranet and email," De la Rey said.

She added that when the campuses did reopen, they would enforce an approach of zero tolerance to any disruptive and unlawful behaviour.

"We have an interdict in place that precludes violence of any sort on our campuses, and we will be enforcing it strictly, with the assistance of the South African Police Services. We will not condone any violence, intimidation, inciting hatred or hate speech by any party. We are implementing University disciplinary processes and will be reporting any cases of violent and unlawful behaviour to the police for possible prosecution," she said.

Read more on:    university of pretoria  |  pretoria  |  education  |  protests  |  university protests

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