Heavy security not necessary: UP students

2016-02-29 12:44

Pretoria - Several students expressed unhappiness with the heavy security on campus as lectures resumed at the University of Pretoria on Monday, following protests over its language policy.

Students took pictures and videos of the two police Nyalas and four police cars parked outside the gate on Prospect Street. Campus security guards scrutinised student cards.

Final-year meteorology student Lulama Nhlapho said the police presence on campus was intimidating.

"I'm happy to be going back to class because these protests are ridiculous, but seeing the heavy security is like being in jail."

She said students would be divided along racial lines following the protests over the institution’s language policy.

"The campus won't be the same after this because of this racism," Nhlapho said.

SRC member Donovan du Plooy said the extra security was unnecessary.

"All the relevant stakeholders pledged [for] peaceful engagements. We are very concerned to see a Nyala parked outside. It doesn't create a conducive environment for studying. It's quite intimidating and for those who were actively involved, it might intimidate them," he said.

Students at the university had been protesting over its language policy for the past two weeks.

Twenty-seven people were arrested for public violence. They appeared in court last week. Charges against three of them were dropped, leaving only 24 students to stand trial. Their case was postponed to April 7.

The university was closed for a week due to the protests.

Another student, Karabo Sekhukhuni a member of students' movement UPrising, said she was happy with classes resuming, despite not having met with management.

"We had asked for classes not to start until we thrashed out a few issues, but that did not happen.

We are fine with classes starting, but the heavy police presence makes me worried.

“I'm worried if there aren't serious crimes being committed in the country if police can just sit at the university," she said.

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

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