SAUS threatens to shut down UP over students’ letters

The university has asked Fees Must Fall activists to write a letter to explain why they should be allowed to re-register.

FILE: University of Pretoria students protest on the institutions Hatfield campus over possible university fee hikes for the 2017 academic year. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has threatened to shut down the University of Pretoria (UP) if it continues to demand that Fees Must Fall activists write a letter to explain why they should be allowed to re-register for the 2017 academic year.

The university's Rikus Delport says the letter will only be expected from students who have criminal charges pending against them.

Several students from the university were arrested during last year's fees protests, on charges ranging from inciting public violence to destruction of property.

The university says it’s simply trying to make the 2017 academic year commerce without any disruptions.

The SAUS says demanding letters from those implicated is asking for trouble.

SAUS general secretary Sthembiso Ndlovu says, “We’ll take the fight head on with UP. There’s no need for those students to write any letters as long as they’ve passed their subjects and qualify continue with their studies. They’ll continue without writing any letters, or else we’ll declare a total shut down at the University of Pretoria.”

Ndlovu says the requesting of letters is depriving implicated students their rights to education and says it’s an emotional burden to be targeted.

Meanwhile, registration for students who are not implicated has been continuing without any disruptions.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)