EFFSC shuts down UNISA’s Sunnyside campus as students register late

After reopening late applications last Friday, the Sunnyside campus of University of South Africa (Unisa) saw chaos erupt as students climbed over the campus’ fence in order to register before the January 19 deadline, which is in four days.

The university was only allowing 20 prospective students onto the premise to register at time and students who were waiting became restless.

There have been allegations that some walk-in students attempted to break the locks surrounding the campus in order to get in.

Reopening registration

Unisa made the call to reopen its registration deadline for the late applications of first-time undergraduate students following a decision on management of walk-ins made by Universities South Africa (USAf) on January 10.

Unisa spokesperson Martin Ramotshela said that: “Unisa will reopen applications for the 2018 academic year for first-time entering undergraduate students who have not previously applied for admission to the 2018 academic year.”

The university announced first-time undergraduate students could send in their applications via its application website or through self-help stations at various Unisa centres by the deadline of January 19, 2018.

Applications would then be processed after the deadline where offers to qualifying students would be made on a first come, first served basis based on the number of spots available for the academic year.

Same campus hit twice

On January 12, Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) students shut down Unisa’s Sunnyside campus resulting in a clash with ANC Youth League (ANCYL) students who believed that the EFFSC’s shutdown was “uncalled for”. The student group promised to shut down the university campus again if their demands were not met.

Jackson Ledwaba of Sasco and the ANCYL said: “The EFF need to understand that although the president pronounced on free higher education for the poor, it needed to be ushered in peacefully. The EFFSC’s demands did not warrant a protest or university shutdown.”

The EFFSC has accused the university of failing to help prospective students by turning over 500 students away between Wednesday and Friday. The group has also said that the university’s online system hindered registration as it lost documents attached to applications.

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