Protesters try to disrupt UP open day

2017-05-20 13:05
A Nehawu protester at UP. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

A Nehawu protester at UP. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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Pretoria - A small group of student protesters tried to disrupt the University of Pretoria (UP) open day on Saturday morning. 

Nehawu members postponed their protest earlier after a court interdict prevented them from protesting on the campus. 

Students wielding placards talking about rape culture in the residences and others about racism, tried to make their way into the Aula Auditorium where the UP Vice Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey was addressing prospective students and their parents. 

The protesting students were barred from going into the auditorium, after they were told by security that only prospective students and parents were allowed to attend the address. 

A struggle ensued between the student protesters and security as security tried to take away their posters.

Several posters were destroyed in the clash and some taken.

These posters were returned to the protesters who then gathered outside the auditorium telling prospective students not to come to UP, making claims about sexual harassment and incidents of rape that is said to have occurred within the residences. 

The student protesters later dispersed.

UP spokesperson Candice Jooste said:"Protesters tried to disrupt proceedings at the University of Pretoria’s Open Day but was quickly controlled by the police and campus security."

"We are disappointed that protesters chose to use this event, which is supposed to be a day for prospective students and their families to get to know the University better, to  raise their issues," said Jooste.

"The safety of students, staff and visitors is a priority and as such the Police will maintain a strong presence around the Hatfield campus."

Jooste said the university takes all claims very serious and that all claims will be investigated. She said support will be provided for victims that come forward.  

Nehawu regional leadership said they would convene on Monday to play their way forward.

Read more on:    nehawu  |  pretoria  |  education  |  protests

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