Tensions simmering over student demands at Free State higher learning

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Students at institutions of higher learning in the Free State have called on the management to act swiftly in addressing their concerns.

At the University of the Free State, students demand management to scrap the permits for accessing campuses.

At the Motheo TVET College, tensions are still simmering as learners want classes to be halted until their demands are met.

The institution has obtained a court interdict prohibiting students from disrupting classes.

Student activist, Kamogelo Pudumo says they view the move as an act of intimidation.

“Management wants to make sure that students are victimised. Now, there is a message circulating. It says that each and every student must go back to class whereas our issues are not resolved yet. So, we are still waiting here and as one of the people that are part of the interdict, they said that if we come here again, they will make sure that we get arrested. We are waiting for police to victimise us as they always do.”

Motheo College management is yet to meet with the students.

“Our challenge here in Motheo, we are doing NCV, our results are still outstanding. So, we are still waiting for the marks. They said we are going to get them today, but we didn’t,” says one student.

“We don’t have textbooks and tomorrow, we are writing. So, what are we going to write without textbooks? And they said it is open book,” says another student.

Students struggling to register

On the other side of the city, long, snaking queues are forming at the University of the Free State. Some students are still struggling to register even though classes have resumed.

Last week, university management met with student leadership to map the way forward. This followed a series of protests over financial exclusions.

Free State University students protest not being allowed to register:

SRC deputy secretary at the UFS, Kamohelo Seleke, says they have written to the management to resolve the stalemate.

“As far as things are going, as SRC, we are not happy because most of our students are still coming to campus trying to register. Most of them are not finding access to campus to be able to register. So, now we want to urge the university management to further scrap the permit system for this week and allow our students access to campus. We want to make sure that all our students before we continue with everything. All of them should be registered and have access to the university campus and can register.”

Meanwhile, student leaders at the Central University of Technology will meet with management to address their concerns.