Giovedì, 25 Febbraio 2016 05:35

News24.com | Enough is enough – De la Rey

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Pretoria – The University of Pretoria will adopt a zerotolerance to violence and crime when the institution opens its doors next week,its vice chancellor, Professor Cheryl de la Rey, said.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

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 themwere dropped, leaving only 24 students to stand trial. Their case was postponedto April 7. The university has been closed due to the ongoing student protestsand violence.

Zero tolerance

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 vowedthat the institution would use its authority to deal with troublemakers.

“We will employ anapproach of zero tolerance. That means we will use all our internal proceduresas relevant. If an act is a crime, we are going to treat it as a crime. We haveinternal process for transgressions of our code of conduct but if something isa crime, it must be dealt with as a crime,” she said.

De la Rey added that the safety of students and staff was ofparamount importance and they would not compromise on it. Additional securitywould be brought in. She also mentioned that plans would be communicated tostudents on what would be done to catch up missed classes.

“We’ve had to revise the academic timetable to ensure ourstudents are not disadvantaged educationally by the disruptions of this week,”she said.

De la Rey called on students to desist from vandalising anddamaging property. She said university buildings were public property anddestroying them added pressure on backlog of maintenance work that still had tobe carried out.

The comments come after the burning of the science buildingat the North West University during a student protest on Wednesday.

"We know we have a backlog of maintenance of buildingsat universities especially at old universities like this one where we aretrying to modernise and upgrade," she said.

"We have student accommodation that dates back 100years. That requires maintenance and we need to build new ones. Now we aresitting with a situation where we are destroying public property and that hasto be paid for. This is alarming."

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