UFS students hand over memorandum, CUT shutdown continues

Photo: Mark Steenbok

A group of students at the University of the Free State (UFS) do not want any disciplinary steps taken against them in light of the current protests over fee increments and free education.

This was one of the demands listed on a memorandum which were handed over to acting Vice Chancellor, Nicky Morgan, in front of the main building today. The students, led by the #FreeEducationMovement , further demanded that the management resist in increasing security and police visibility on campus.

They expect management to give feedback to them at 14:00 tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the SRC president at the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein, Thapelo Ngozo, says they will not vacate residences after all academic and administrative activities were suspended due to safety reasons until 10 October.

Students were also asked to vacate residences by 12:00 on Tuesday, 27 September, for their own safety.

“You cannot expect students funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to have R2000 ready within two hours to go home. We are going to talk to residences, and those students who submitted their names to stay at the residences during the holidays will stay, nobody will remove them, we are not prepared to leave. Even if they shoot us, they must shoot us,” says Thapelo.

Police failed to get the picketing CUT students to vacate the premises after the students proved that the interdict presented to them was null and void. A court sheriff had earlier brought the interdict to the students but no one approached the sheriff to receive it and it was not read to the students.

Eventually when the police went to inform the students if they know that their gathering was illegal the students pointed out that the interdict was dated as a 2015 document and that they had not violated anything within the document. The police then retreated.

Acting vice chancellor, Henk de Jager, earlier told Bloemfontein Courant that the issue was not only a CUT issue, but a national matter as well.

Mark Steenbok/Moeketsi Mogotsi