Vow not to protest here again – var­sity


THE UNIVER­SITY of Pre­to­ria wants stu­dents fac­ing crim­i­nal cases be­cause of their in­volve­ment in last year’s fees protests to write mo­ti­va­tions on why they should be al­lowed to re-reg­is­ter.

The univer­sity has in­structed stu­dents to sup­ply “a for­mal writ­ten re­quest to the univer­sity in­di­cat­ing why such a re­quest should be con­sid­ered favourably and what un­der­tak­ing you are will­ing to give to avoid sim­i­lar in­ci­dents in 2017”.

Stu­dents have been given un­til Mon­day to make the writ­ten sub­mis­sions. Sev­eral stu­dents were ar­rested or sus­pended af­ter their in­volve­ment in the #FeesMustFall protests.

The univer­sity said it was not obliged to ac­cept the reg­is­tra­tion ap­pli­ca­tions.

Univer­sity spokesper­son Rikus Del­port said: “The univer­sity has sent let­ters to stu­dents who, among oth­ers, have crim­i­nal cases pend­ing against them as a re­sult of last year’s vi­o­lent protest ac­tion. We have asked stu­dents to give rea­sons as to why their ap­pli­ca­tion for re-reg­is­tra­tion should be con­sid­ered favourably. Stu­dents are not obliged to make any in­crim­i­nat­ing state­ments.”

Del­port said the univer­sity had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure the aca­demic pro­gramme continued with­out dis­rup­tion.

He said that so far, 13 500 stu­dents had reg­is­tered through the on­line sys­tem.

At Wits Univer­sity, sev­eral lec­tur­ers claim that stu­dents are not reg­is­ter­ing or are dereg­is­ter­ing from classes out of fear for #FeesMustFall reprisals.

Three lec­tur­ers, who asked to re­main anony­mous and were from var­i­ous fac­ul­ties, said stu­dents were afraid to come to cam­pus.

One of the lec­tur­ers from the hu­man­i­ties fac­ulty said that in the past, by this time of year, he had at least 40 stu­dents reg­is­tered, but so far no stu­dents had reg­is­tered for his cour­ses.

“How am I sup­posed to pre­pare?” he ques­tioned.

Another lec­turer said she was con­cerned that those who were reg­is­ter­ing were the trou­ble­mak­ers.

“We’re afraid and ter­ri­fied; 2017 could be a wa­ter­shed mo­ment for the univer­sity. Many of us spent the last few weeks mark­ing the de­ferred papers that were writ­ten. With stu­dents not reg­is­ter­ing or dereg­is­ter­ing, we can’t plan our classes or pre­pare be­cause we have no idea what’s hap­pen­ing,” she ex­plained.

Wits Univer­sity spokesper­son Shi­rona Pa­tel said: “The ru­mours are un­founded. There have been no is­sues at Wits since we opened on Jan­uary 3 and the reg­is­tra­tion process is on track. Most stu­dents also have the op­tion to reg­is­ter on­line.”

So far at least 16000 stu­dents had reg­is­tered. “It is in­ter­est­ing to note that a ma­jor­ity of our stu­dents are reg­is­ter­ing on­line, how­ever, this is not sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing that most ap­pli­ca­tions for stud­ies at Wits are sub­mit­ted through our on­line ap­pli­ca­tion fa­cil­ity,” Pa­tel said.

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