HRC asked to investigate brutality by UJ security guards

UJ academics are raising concerns over alleged brutality during ongoing protests.

FILE: Concerned friends and relatives wait outside the Brixton police station before the release of UJ protesters. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Several University of Johannesburg (UJ) academics have called on the Human Rights Commission to investigate whether the response to private security companies to protesting students has been appropriate

Students and workers were released from the Brixton police station yesterday after demonstrating on campus against outsourcing of workers.

At least 54 academics have signed a petition which they plan to submit to management raising concerns over alleged brutality by police and private security companies during the ongoing protests.

Professor Jane Duncan says part of the petition asks management to call in an independent body to investigate the conduct of private security guards.

"The heavy presence of private security on campus is inflaming the situation, rather than reducing it. In light of the evidence that has been brought to us, by our own students, of a disproportionate; we are calling for an investigation into all these incident."

Meanwhile, 141 people involved in the demonstrations at UJ will appear in the Brixton Magistrates Court today for violating a court order prohibiting protests within 500m of the Auckland Park campus.

Last week, dozens of students and workers were arrested and released on a warning after they blocked Kingsway Road, calling for an end to outsourcing.

The university has since signed an agreement with workers union, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union, committing to insourcing at the institution.

The police's Tsekiso Mofokeng says, "All 141 are charged with contravening the court order that was issued by the magistrate, on behalf of UJ. The provincial commissioner would like to acknowledge the good work done by the police, where there were arrests made without any injuries or manhandling."