Students register amid intensified security
PRETORIA: Petrol bombs were thrown and security measures intensified as protests by outsourced general workers at Pretoria universities continued yesterday
While the protests meant activities at the universities could not run smoothly, some student registration continued.
The University of Pretoria, which obtained a court order barring protests on campus grounds, will remain closed until further notice.
The university obtained a second interdict against protests within 150m of any its entrances. Petrol bombs were thrown at a truck at the university, causing minimal damages.
University spokesperson Anna-Retha Bouwer said while they remained closed, students were encouraged to register online.
Unisa said its campuses – closed to safeguard lives and property – would be reopened.
Unisa’s Sunnyside campus was the scene of protests and at about 6am a recycling bin was set alight. Late morning, a crowd led by the EFF Student Command marched to the edge of campus, where they were met by armed police.
South African Student Congress (Sasco) branch secretary Kenneth Tsikeli said students who had not been registered were frustrated. “But we are here to ensure they are all assisted.”
Nguela Mirabeau, who registered for his masters in electrical engineering, arrived at 7am and only left the registration hall at 2pm.
“I am relieved,” he said. “I came to register last week and it was not possible.”
According to Tsikeli, while students had theoretically been able to register since January 4, this was only the third day they had been able to successfully do so in person.
Unisa spokesperson Martin Ramotshela confirmed registration would continue until the end of the month. He added students were also able to register online. Ramotshela said police were present to ensure the interdict against the protesters was enforced.
At Tshwane University of Technology registration commenced as scheduled. Spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said the only sign of protesters at the university was “an incident at the Arcadia campus, which was very quickly resolved” by the police.
ALERT: Police escort Unisa students in Pretoria on to the campus to commence with the registration process.