Wits needs cops and contingencies to get back on track

University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) vice-chancellor Professor Adam Habib wants to meet with the minister of police to secure law enforcement officers for the institution if and when classes resume.

“If the majority of students want to go back to class next week‚ we want police to secure lectures. The VC is hoping to meet with the minister of police this week‚” said university spokesperson Shirona Patel on Tuesday.

Patel said the university was making provisions for lectures and exams‚ and will announce its decision in due course.

“All activities have been suspended. We are working on contingency plans. The exam timetable has been postponed and exams are in two weeks’ time. However‚ we remain committed to making sure that all activities resume‚” she said.

The university announced on Monday that it wants to poll students and staff later this week on whether classes should resume next week.

“If the majority of students and staff support the reopening on Monday‚ the university will call upon government and the police to meet their obligations to protect the university’s property and to safeguard the lives of all students and staff‚” Patel said on Monday night.

The process will be done electronically and anonymously‚ Patel said.

“We’ve requested the IEC to help us. They will oversee the process.”

The university’s decision to hold the polls comes after it received “hundreds” of emails from students wanting to go back to classes.

Some of the students had asked the university to bring the military to assist‚ Patel said.

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