Unisa News- Unisa takes firm stance Against Graduation Disrupters
UNISA LATEST NEWS – Graduates at the University of South Africa (Unisa) found themselves in the midst of another disruptive incident due to protest action. However, this time the institution has decided to take a firm stance against the alleged perpetrators by adopting the following measures.
The University of South Africa has recently had to take legal and protective measures, after protesting labour union members disrupted a graduation event at the institution on Wednesday.
According to a statement by the university, the incident occurred during the first of its autumn graduation scheduled for 10:00 am, when protesting members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) stormed its Muckleneuck Campus hall intent on halting the proceedings.
This unlawful act, which included an unfortunate discharge of a pepper spray canister, caused considerable panic and discomfort to students, guests and staff of the university and left many feeling unsafe on the premises of the university.
Unisa further states that, as a result of the incident, they also had to postpone the graduation session planned for 18:00 on the same day, due to further hostile behaviour by the protesters.
The graduation session planned for 18:00 yesterday also had to be postponed as the same protesters had blocked the entrance into the Muckleneuck Campus and thus rendered access to the campus difficult for the graduating students and other guests.
In response to the incident, Unisa’s management issued a second statement in which they confirm that they have taken legal and safety measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring.
The protective measures adopted by the university’s management are as listed below:
- The wage adjustment disagreement, which had been ongoing for a few months, has now been settled peacefully. It was the only major problem that had disrupted Unisa’s labour harmony.
- Five NEHAWU staff members who also hold leadership positions have been suspended until disciplinary hearings take place, with effect from 19 April 2022, for organising an unlawful and unprotected strike, as well as disrupting the 2022 Autumn Graduation Ceremonies, among other things.
- Any illegal behaviour that aims to disrupt the university’s activities is subject to a court order, which is enforceable. As specified in the court order, this includes intimidation, harassment, and any other similar action. The university has a legal obligation to follow the law.
- Workers who are participating in an unprotected and unlawful strike are well aware of the court order and the fact that no union has been issued a certificate to strike by the CCMA. As a result, employees are encouraged to report to work, failing which, disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with university policy and the law.
- Because of the nature of the disruptions, the university has taken immediate steps to improve security on its campuses, as well as enlisting the help of relevant government authorities with the capacity and resources to handle security crises that aren’t covered by standard labour disputes.
Management also stated that they remain open to engage on real and substantive worker issues, including on the strategic issues of transformation and the future of Unisa. Lawlessness, violence, and intimidation do not constitute part of that agenda.