16 November 2015
Dear Campus Community
The sit-down examinations for final year students started this morning as planned. For today’s session more than 400 students elected to write the examination at an off-campus venue. We presume that the remainder of those that were supposed to write today elected to write either the second opportunity exams in December or the exams scheduled for January. However, there are also many students who were prevented from leaving residences this morning as well as scores of students who reported being so traumatised that they are unable to write this week.
The logistics for this morning involved transporting some students in buses from campus. Regrettably, since early this morning, the protesting students allegedly focussed on ensuring that residence students were not able to proceed to the buses and blocked access to the buses. In addition, we have several reports with photographic evidence of litter bins all over campus being stock-piled with bricks, stones, sticks and shields. Again some protestors were wearing masks and balaclavas. There was also another attempt this morning to burn down the Residence Life (ResLife) building where a coffee shop was completely gutted by the fire.
When events transpired on campus this morning, we immediately informed deans and the executive portfolios and asked them to communicate to staff that it is not safe to be on campus and the security also attempted to stop staff from entering the campus. Under these circumstances it is probably advisable that staff refrain from entering campus until advised otherwise. In instances where it is absolutely necessary, please make the prior arrangements with respective deans and line managers.
Further communication will follow soon.
Prof Tyrone Pretorius
Rector and Vice-Chancellor