Contract workers sorted but UFS student demands not yet met

2016-02-25 22:52
University of Free State students pray for peace. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

University of Free State students pray for peace. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Bloemfontein – While the University of the Free State on Thursday said it had struck a deal with protesting contract workers and was expecting them back at work on Monday, the institution's students said their demands had not yet been met.

The students on Thursday rejected a memorandum by the university management in which it claimed it was aware of their grievances and counsel would hold meetings to find solutions.

"We feel there is nothing new in the memorandum," said Aphelele Mpwecu from the student and workers forum.

She said some of the students demands included more housing and the immediate removal of vice chancellor, Jonathan Jansen. 

Management, however, had not given into their demands. 

Arrest list

Mpwecu said after their rejection of management's response, students moved around campus in protest but police had made random arrests. 

"Twenty-three were arrested and of those, 21 are being kept in one police station while the other two are at another station," Mpwecu said. 

She claimed the police had been furnished with a list of names of students which they had been ordered to arrest.

When News24 spoke to Mpwecu at 22:00, she said she and other students were at the police station, trying to get the detained students released. 

"At the moment, students don't feel safe on campus. There is a strong police presence there and we cannot enter or exit the campus with vehicles," she said. 

The police could not immediately be reached to confirm what charges the arrested students faced as well respond to the students' allegations of an arrest list.

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