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Sun May 29 19:19:09 SAST 2016

Violence shuts down TUT campus - university blames non-students

Neo Goba | 07 March, 2016 15:52
Tshwane University of Technology. File photo.
Image by: Eric Malema / Sunday Times

The two Tshwane University of Technology Soshanguve campuses have been shut down indefinitely due to increasing violence‚ intimidation and assaults at the institution.

This comes as a small group of people who are believed not to be TUT students‚ continued to disrupt activities at both South and North campuses‚ the university said on Monday.

“Unfortunately‚ despite discussions between management‚ the Central SRC (Students Representative Council) and Local SRC and agreements reached‚ as well as an interdict that is still in force‚ a small group of people are continuing to disrupt activities at the Soshanguve campuses. It must be noted that a number of the people who are causing theses disruptions are in fact not registered TUT students‚” vice chancellor Lourens van Staden said on Monday.

Van Staden has given students living at the campus residences to vacate the premises by 14:00pm tomorrow‚ 8 March‚ and has urged those who can leave today‚ to do so.

All academic activities have been suspended until 5 April 2016 and only registered students will be allowed at these campuses when they reopen.

University management also informed students to vacate the Soshanguve North and South campuses for safety reasons.

The rest of the TUT campuses will not be affected by the closure‚ and will carry on with their activities. Students who haven’t finished registering can do so at any TUT campus‚ the university said.

Today was the last day to register at the Soshanguve campuses.

Signs that something was brewing were evident towards end of last year when TUT management notified students that all exams at the two campuses had been postponed indefinitely.

This was amid discussions at management level on the best possible way to defuse the long-standing impasse with students.

The protests started after students demanded all historical debt be cleared for them to be able to write exams and thus be able to access their final year marks. They said they saw no point in writing exams if they would not get their results.

The students have again this year also demanded the institution assist those who are financially disadvantaged.

- The #MustFall hashtag has also been used in America with a campaign at the prestigious Harvard Law School.

The campaign‚ Royall Must Fall‚ was used to campaign against the removal of the shield of a slave-owning family as the school's system. Isaac Royall Jr. endowed the first law professorship at Harvard.

The university said at the weekend that it would drop the crest.

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