TUT to continue with programme despite protests

Pretoria - The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) says it will continue with academic activities, despite Wednesday's protests.

"Although the Tshwane University of Technology planned to reopen all its campuses on Wednesday, 12 October 2016, protests for free education unfortunately flared up at the Pretoria, Ga-Rankuwa, Arcadia and Arts campuses this morning," spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said.  

De Ruyter said the university had adapted its academic calendar to ensure the successful completion of the academic year.

She said failure to complete the academic year would have a serious impact on current students and new students for 2017, as there would be no space available.

"Activities at all the university's campuses will, therefore, continue tomorrow, 13 October 2016. Security measures will be reinforced at all the university's campuses. Staff and students are reminded that they will only be able to access campuses with their TUT identification cards," she said.

Protests broke out at the institution early on Wednesday morning, with tyres being burnt at the entrances of some campuses. Staff and students were advised to go home for the day, while management assessed the situation.

Parents, guardians urged to help

Students then marched to the city centre and demanded that colleges be closed and that students join the march.

De Ruyter said members of the executive management on Wednesday morning also engaged with the protesters, comprising members from Pasma, EFF and the Radical Student Movement, at the Pretoria campus in an effort to disperse the group peacefully, however the police had to intervene.

"The disruptions primarily took place at the entrances of the Pretoria, Ga-Rankuwa, Arcadia, and arts campuses and there has been no destruction of property at any of these campuses. Minor disruptions were also experienced at the Soshanguve campus, while the situation at the distant campuses in Polokwane, Mbombela and eMalahleni continued uninterrupted," she said.

The university called on the parents and guardians of TUT students to urgently assist in ensuring that the university continued with the academic programme.

She said meetings would be called with parents and guardians as soon as possible.

"While the university respects the right of students to protest, any TUT student disrupting the operations of the university will be dealt with according to the disciplinary code, while cases will be opened against those participating in criminal activities," she said.

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