News

Fees Commission report released: a roundup

DITEBOGO TSHAKA

On 13 November the Presidency released the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training, otherwise known as the Fees Commission report/Heher report.

President Jacob Zuma received the Fees Commission Report on 30 August. The commission, established by President Zuma, was charged with looking into the feasibility of free higher education after the Fees Must Fall protests across universities in 2015 and 2016. The Commission was led by Judge Jonathan Heher, assisted by advocate Gregory Ally and Leah Khumalo.

Read more: Fees Commission report released: a roundup

UP worker dies

DITEBOGO TSHAKA

On the morning of 6 November, a UP Servest worker, Mokhithi Johannes Moeti, died while on duty. Moeti, who was working in the maintenance team at UP, was killed after being pulled into a chipper machine at the LC de Villiers Sport Campus.

According to Moeti’s colleague and an eyewitness to the accident, Mulisa Mabudafhasi, “All I saw was his hand gloves disappearing into the machine. We were working under pressure‚ that’s how we live‚ we are oppressed. So my friend was stressed like I was. They left the two of us to operate a dangerous machine without the keys‚ I could not do anything.”

Read more: UP worker dies

UP students film themselves using K-word

DITEBOGO TSHAKA, MARKO SVICEVIC AND NTOMBI MKANDHLA

Two UP students were identified on social media after a video showing them using racial slurs was posted on a Physiotherapy group. 
The video was apparently shared by “accident”. It shows the students inside Jukes, a local bar, using the K-word repeatedly. “You heard that a k***** stole this drunk girl’s phone? I’m so f***ing done. F***ing k*****. F****** k*****s. Don’t play this in front of Zamani. So f***ing done. I’m phoneless you w****,” then continued to shout. 
The student that shared the video on the WhatsApp group said on the social media platform, “Guys please ignore that – my very drunk friend.” “I really apologise from the bottom of my heart to anyone that’s been offended – so sorry, completely unacceptable. She’s been sent home!” she texted. She further texted that it was an accident and that someone had her phone. She continued to apologise and claimed that “…it’s not [her] opinion at all – and I can’t apologize enough…”. She further added “I know drinking and anger is no excuse for intolerance but all I can do is ask for your forgiveness…”

UP spokesperson, Candice Jooste confirmed that the two females in the video were UP students. "An investigation into the matter is underway and the students will be suspended today, pending a disciplinary inquiry. The University of Pretoria strongly condemns the use of such derogatory and racist language," said Jooste.

 

 

 



Even though the names of the students are known across social media, Perdeby removed the names on legal advice as the students could not be reached for comment.

SRC calls for mandate from students at mass meeting

CHAD JOHNSTON
On 27 October, the SRC called a mass meeting at the amphitheatre of the Hatfield campus to discuss UP’s proposed fee increments. On 23 October, the SRC posted on Facebook that they had had a meeting with UP management to discuss UP’s proposed 8% increase in tuition fees as well as the 9.3% increase in residence fees and the 9.8% increase of residence food. The meeting was attended by approximately 350 students.

The meeting began with students singing, dancing and chanting in the amphitheatre. SRC President, Kwena Moloto, then addressed the crowd and thanked them for attending. Before the matter of fees could be discussed, a student asked for the removal of Kyle Goosen, the SRC representative for Marketing Media and Communications. Goosen is facing an internal disciplinary for calling Moloto a N***er. Moloto tried to steer the discussion back to the issue of fee increments at the university.

Read more: SRC calls for mandate from students at mass meeting

UP’s 2018 proposed fees increase

DITEBOGO TSHAKA

On 23 October, UP’s SRC released a statement highlighting UP’s proposed fee increments for 2018.

The statement mentions that the SRC held a meeting with UP executive management on 19 October to discuss 2018 tuition fees where executive management highlighted several points. Firstly, “an 8% increase in tuition fees for 2018 would be needed for UP to break even at the end of the fiscal year”. Secondly, “a 9.3% increase in residence fees and a 9.8% increase of residence meal prices would be needed at TuksRes”.

The SRC stressed that the numbers were not binding and would be confirmed or rebutted at a later stage. The statement mentioned that further engagements between the SRC and management were scheduled, “leading up to the Council sitting on 1st of November 2017”.

Read more: UP’s 2018 proposed fees increase

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