Chaos erupts at WSU

Daily Dispatch - - News - SINO MAJANGAZA

Wal­ter Sisulu Univer­sity stu­dent lead­ers and se­cu­rity guards clashed at the Ibika cam­pus on Satur­day.

The se­cu­rity guards were evict­ing stu­dents who had oc­cu­pied the cam­pus res­i­dence with­out per­mis­sion. Dur­ing the scuf­fle, SRC pres­i­dent Lihle Klaas and an­other stu­dent sus­tained mi­nor in­juries.

The im­passe at the But­ter­worth cam­pus came after more than 100 stu­dents who had come ei­ther to ap­ply to write spe­cial ex­am­i­na­tions or col­lect their aca­demic records, oc­cu­pied some res­i­dences.

Klaas claimed they had ne­go­ti­ated with man­age­ment for stu­dents to be on cam­pus be­cause of reg­is­tra­tion.

“They agreed, but we were sur­prised when they [stu­dents] were chased away,” he said.

On Satur­day, they spent about four hours out­side the cam­pus un­til just be­fore 10pm when the stu­dent lead­ers even­tu­ally found ac­com­mo­da­tion at com­mu­nity halls.

In video footage that has been shared widely, se­cu­rity guards can be seen chas­ing the stu­dents from univer­sity premises. An­other video shows a heated ar­gu­ment where a guard threat­ens to shoot, with stu­dents arm­ing them­selves with sticks in re­tal­i­a­tion.

Po­lice were called in to quell the ten­sions.

In a state­ment on the cam­pus’ Face­book page, Klaas said the de­ploy­ment of armed se­cu­rity guards on cam­pus was a de­lib­er­ate at­tempt by the univer­sity to ha­rass stu­dents.

“Most of these stu­dents do not have rel­a­tives around here and cam­pus ac­com­mo­da­tion is the only op­tion,” he said.

Univer­sity spokesper­son Yonela Tuk­wayo said to­wards the end of the aca­demic year of 2018, the univer­sity is­sued no­tices to all stu­dents in­form­ing them that they should not re­turn to the univer­sity prior to reg­is­tra­tion.

She said upon reg­is­tra­tion, stu­dents are then al­lo­cated rooms.

“A room can­not be al­lo­cated prior to a stu­dent reg­is­ter­ing. With lim­ited ac­com­mo­da­tion, not all stu­dents qual­ify for ac­com­mo­da­tion and some do not re­turn to the univer­sity for a num­ber of rea­sons,” Tuk­wayo said.

“We have in the past had in­ci­dences of non-reg­is­tered peo­ple oc­cu­py­ing rooms that are meant for reg­is­tered stu­dents.”

She said some main­te­nance work and fu­mi­ga­tion takes place in Jan­uary and hav­ing stu­dents oc­cupy res­i­dences ahead of sched­ule in­ter­feres with these op­er­a­tions.

Tuk­wayo said the only stu­dents au­tho­rised to be in res­i­dences are SRC mem­bers who need to pre­pare for the ar­rival of stu­dents on Jan­uary 21.

“We also have cer­tain groups of stu­dents who per­form func­tions at the univer­sity, who are also au­tho­rised to oc­cupy res­i­dence rooms. These rooms that are avail­able for work­ing stu­dents were pre­pared prior to the year-end clo­sure.”

She said the univer­sity should not be in­cur­ring wa­ter, clean­ing and elec­tric­ity costs as a re­sult of stu­dents re­turn­ing much ear­lier than they should.

Pic­ture:SUP­PLIED

CAUS­ING AN UP­ROAR: Stu­dents evicted from Ibika cam­pus in But­ter­worth after il­le­gally oc­cu­py­ing res­i­dences.

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