A stun grenade was supposedly fired to disperse hundreds of University of South Africa (UNISA) students who on Monday vowed to block registration until a multi-disciplinary committee to deal with outsourcing was established.
Mpho Morolane, student leader, said that there was an agreement last year that the outsourcing of staff would be dealt with. He accused management of renegading on a promise to establish the committee, and called for an urgent council meeting.
“The multi-disciplinary committee must be established as a matter of urgency,” he said.
The students gathered at the Sunnyside campus in Pretoria on Monday, burning rubbish while going around the campus.
Addressing students at the university Registrar’s office on Monday, Morolane said the registration system was failing students and called for it to be fixed urgently. They also called for dismissed security staff to be reinstated as a matter of urgency. The protesters demanded that outsourcing be addressed before classes resume.
“The management of this university are thinking they are better than us. Because up to today, we have not attended any multi-disciplinary on outsourcing,” Morolane said.
He said one stun grenade had been fired try and disperse students, but that it had not worked and they had reassembled.
“We are not going anywhere.”
UNISA spokesperson Martin Ramotshela said that only a teargas canister had been discharged to disperse the protesters.
He said they were trying to over-run some police personnel who were locking the gates to the campus.
“Nobody was harmed in any way,” he said.
Ramotshela said the university was continuing to register those who had managed to get into the building before the protesters gathered.
“Those that were still outside campus have unfortunately been affected as they cannot access the registration area. Online registration is continuing and is not affected.”
Demonstrations and strikes are now commonplace in South Africa. Their value is really seen because authorities solve the problems swiftly. However, they generally put institutions under unnecessary expenses. Breakages and damages have occurr. The very people who damage pay indirectly. At the end of the day dialogues is what is needed.
Author: Staff writer