Giovedì, 25 Febbraio 2016 07:15 | UP campus can’t open without an agreement - EFF

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Pretoria – The Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command atthe University of Pretoria says classes at the institution cannot resumewithout an agreement being reached with management.

“Campus can’t open when there is no

agreement,” saidchairperson, Kabelo Mahlobogwane.

He said they had a meeting with the vice chancellor,Professor Cheryl de la Rey, but they could not reach an agreement. Mahlobogwanesaid the university had still not accepted their memorandum and they want todiscuss that first before returning to class.

“We don’t want to go back to Tukkies, we want to go back tothe University of Pretoria. It must be transformed first. We will wait for theuniversity to give us a date on when we are going to start engaging on thememorandum,” he said.

Peaceful engagements

Mahlobogwane said they would afford the university anopportunity to engage with them on Friday and meet with students on Monday toget a mandate on the way forward.

"It is clear that we will not go back to anun-transformed institution," he said.

De la Rey said the institution would resume activities onMonday. She said extra security would be brought in and they would also beworking with the South African Police Service to restore order.

She said they would adopt a zero tolerance to violence andcrime when the institution opened its doors next week.

“Given what happened, we have taken additional securitymeasures and we have taken time to work with the South African Police Serviceand we are saying enough is enough.

"We commit to peaceful engagements but we cannot havedisruptions to the academic programme. We cannot have intimidations; we cannothave threats levelled to students, staff and anyone else who want to be part ofthis,” she said.

Zero tolerance for troublemakers

Students at the university have been protesting over itslanguage policy. At least 27 people were arrested last week Friday for publicviolence and they appeared in court on Monday.

Charges against three of them were dropped, leaving only 24students to stand trial. Their case was postponed to April 7. The universityhas been closed due to the ongoing student protests and violence.

De la Rey said she had been meeting with differentstructures at the institution to find an amicable solution to issues raised andto ensure that the academic programme could return to normal. But she vowed tothat the institution would use its authority to deal with troublemakers.

“We will employ an approach of zero tolerance. That means wewill use all our internal procedures as relevant," she said. "If anact is a crime, we are going to treat it as a crime. We have internal processfor transgressions of our code of conduct but if something is a crime, it mustbe dealt with as a crime."

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