VUT's 'thuggish' guards condemned

2012-01-24 16:36

Johannesburg - Security guards who used pepper spray and batons to control crowds outside the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) acted like thugs, an education union said on Tuesday.

"We are calling on the university to review the contract of that security company and make sure that all those thuggish securities [sic] are nowhere near students," the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) said in a statement.

Earlier, VUT spokesperson Kediemetse Mokotsi said the institution did not condone the guards' behaviour.

"These are new security guards that came late last year and were not aware of how to deal with such a crowd. The matter will be taken up with the relevant departments."

On Monday, students waiting to register at the university started pushing each other. Security guards used batons, pepper spray, and tasers on them, according to the SABC.

The guards were described as being "aggressive". Mokotsi could not go into detail about what happened.

Nehawu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said private security companies were prone to "reckless conduct... typical of what we observed and experienced during the apartheid era".

Disciplined security guards were tainted by association with those who used excessive force on the students, he said.

Mokotsi said the university planned to register 2 000 students per day, but many came on the wrong day to register.

"[Monday] was the first day for registrations for returning students and each faculty was allocated a specific date for it, but students ignored the dates on their letters," Mokotsi said.

On January 10 a woman was killed in a stampede outside the University of Johannesburg where late registrations were taking place.

Pamla said the union supported Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande's call for a central registration office, even though this would not solve academic and financial exclusion.

  • Nirvan - 2012-01-24 16:41

    If you act like a rabid wild animal be prepared to be treated like one...

      Max - 2012-01-24 16:47

      Pull the gaurds out then.....Let the stampede begin.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-24 18:10

      If you cant read your letter and then turn up on the wrong day you don't deserve a place at a university...

  • Neville - 2012-01-24 16:42

    If people behave like animals you treat them like animals period

  • Neville - 2012-01-24 16:45

    Once again a one sided story typical union

  • mikeangell61 - 2012-01-24 16:48

    OH SHAME!! If you act like hooligans you will be treated like one. If it was left it might have gone out of control.Nip it in the bud.GOOD WORK.

  • Frik - 2012-01-24 16:50

    The Thugs where inside the VUT they should have used live ammo like we use to do it....

      Rijger - 2012-01-24 21:17

      Frik, they should have administered the right medicine for unruly vandals, I would think that 30mm dosages as prescribed by the great psychologist Dr Browning should have done the trick

  • Theresa - 2012-01-24 16:54

    At least the security guards had a measure of control.No-one was killed in a stampede!

  • Hunter - 2012-01-24 16:58

    Why does the union not comment on the fact that the students did not pitch for registration on the dates indicated on their information letters. This lack of discipline is starting to harm us all over the country and when you want to enforce discipline the real thugs cry foul.

      Newsreader - 2012-01-24 17:11

      Lack of discipline? You mean the lack of rule! Starting at the top! If you can have 5 wives and be president then we are already morally corrupt, so whats the point standing in line because of courtesy! Chaaaaaarge!!!!

      Cheri - 2012-01-24 18:43

      Because the faculties are all registering on EVERY day... don't blame the students for VUT's lack of organisation.

  • Shirley - 2012-01-24 17:27

    Yeah right! Only in South Africa-crowds are not allowed to be controlled-would rather they trample someone to death! There is nothing "thiggish' about doing your job! Just a pity the stampeding buffallos did not act like humans!

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-01-24 17:32

    People looking for an education get pepper sprayed. It's obvious the education system does not work. It's not the student who are at fault here it's the government. They should get the pepper spray.

      Sean - 2012-01-24 21:00

      You should also get pepper sprayed !

  • jmackiedann - 2012-01-24 17:33

    the poor security guards did not struggle to control students they tried to control wild annimals and thats not easy you as a guard might be killed so to the union i regard you as the wild annimal handler and you've failed dismally in anycase you are only ther for the money not for the calling

  • gbbfg - 2012-01-24 17:59

    I'm sorry but what kind of idiots start pushing each other in a queue? I'm not sure a tertiary education can help you if you can't get the most obvious basics right.

  • Teboho N Shelile - 2012-01-24 18:20

    Nehawu if u want to be heard go jump off Mandela bridge....those guys saved lifes 'at all costs'.....unlike your buddies at Wits. I really wonder if u actin out of concern or just seekin attention.....whatever u r Nehawu

  • Teboho N Shelile - 2012-01-24 18:21

    Nehawu if u want to be heard go jump off Mandela bridge....those guys saved lifes 'at all costs'.....unlike your buddies at Wits. I really wonder if u actin out of concern or just seekin attention.....whatever u r Nehawu

  • Cheri - 2012-01-24 18:46

    There has never been an instruction from VUT management to staff that faculties have 1 specific day to register their students. All faculties have been (and are) registering students everyday from the 16th to the 31st of January 2012. The VUT spokesperson is talking rubbish.

  • Alex - 2012-01-24 18:51

    Oh now NEHAWU are crying, maybe if they could negotiate and organise there wouldn't be so much drama!

  • neil.hamman - 2012-01-24 19:47

    nehawu sounds just like meoew... pull the guards out, let them run rampent

  • Irene - 2012-01-24 21:32

    Thugs vs thugs. What's the problem?

  • Willem - 2012-01-25 08:03

    Wasn't the crowd the thug's? Who did they battle to control? So if one dies because of the stampede, it will also be the security guards fault.

  • Barry - 2012-01-25 08:30

    Nirvan - WELL STATED!

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