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Sun Jun 26 08:21:55 CAT 2016

TUT to beef up during lockdown

Sipho Masombuka | 11 March, 2016 00:37
Van Staden also claimed that the protests were fanned by politics and campaigns of deliberate misinformation designed to whip up emotions. File photo
Image by: Sunday Times

The Tshwane University of Technology will beef up security during the month that the Soshanguve North and South campuses will be shut down.

Vice-chancellor Lourens van Staden said it will work to repair the perimeter fencing that was torn down during the two weeks of protest and fence off residences to better control access.

Van Staden said the protests had caused R20-million damage to property.

He said the past two years of violent protests was spearheaded by former students who had nothing to lose.

Van Staden also claimed that the protests were fanned by politics and campaigns of deliberate misinformation designed to whip up emotions.

He said: "There is no financial exclusion at this institution. Students are required to pay the R1500 registration fee upfront and then make arrangements to pay their outstanding debt over a period of time."

He said the names of the protesters who had assaulted students would be handed to the police, saying "their absence on campus will make a difference".

Van Staden said the porous perimeter fencing was one of the main reasons for shutting down the Soshanguve South and North campuses on Tuesday, saying they could not ensure the safety of students and staff with no access control.

"The greatest fear is loss of life. We are secondary parents here and how do I look a parent [in the face] when a student dies on campus?

"The decision to close the campus was taken with that in mind," he said.

Stanley Mukhola, deputy vice-chancellor responsible for teaching, learning and technology, said: " We have responded to each and every issue students have raised, except for one or two issues that are unrealistic. There are political issues at play, with individuals hijacking student issues."

Van Staden singled out a 23-year-old student as a key leader in the disruption.

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