TUT shuts down Soshanguve campuses

2016-03-07 16:45
(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Pretoria - The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has closed down its Soshanguve campuses following a spate of protests, the institution said on Monday.

"Creating an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning is of critical importance to the university. In order to stabilise these campuses, a decision was taken today to close these campuses with immediate effect," spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said in a statement.

"Activities at all other TUT campuses will continue as normal."

De Ruyter said that despite discussions between management, the Central Student Representative Council (CSRC) and Local Student Representative Council (LSRC) and the agreements reached, as well as an interdict that was still in force, a small group of people were continuing to disrupt activities at the Soshanguve campuses.

The students have been protesting and demanding that university management resolve the issue of financial exclusion and the unblocking of excluded students.

"It must be noted that a number of the people who are causing these disruptions are in fact not registered TUT students. Because of the increasing violence, intimidation and assaults, the university has an obligation to ensure the safety of our students," De Ruyter said.

The LSRC has, however, disputed the claims. Spokesperson Patience Rapetswa said they would approach the court after consulting with their lawyers.

"We don’t understand why the campus was closed down because there was no violence. We are taking the university to court because there was an agreement that students would not be kicked out of residences until the court process was concluded," she said.

Students living in university residences were given until 14:00 on Tuesday to vacate the premises. The Soshanguve Campuses would reopen for all activities on April 5, 2016.

"Only registered students will be allowed on these Campuses when they reopen. The recess scheduled for June and July 2016 will be utilised to catch up on the academic time lost as a result of this closure," said De Ruyter.

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