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.