Sasco provincial secretary Naledi Maponopono at one of the entrances of the University of Cape Town where students had erected barricades on Monday.  Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Sasco provincial secretary Naledi Maponopono at one of the entrances of the University of Cape Town where students had erected barricades on Monday. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

The management of the University of SA (Unisa) is currently locked in a meeting with the South African Students Congress (Sasco) in an effort to resolve issues that led to chaos at the university’s Sunnyside campus on Monday morning.

The university’s spokesperson‚ Martin Ramotshela‚ said chaos erupted as Sasco members prevented prospective students from entering the campus to apply for space.

He said there was a standoff between the EFF Student Command and Sasco‚ with the EFF pushing for potential students to gain entry into the campus.

"The university’s executive management is currently in talks with Sasco to resolve issues raised by Sasco. We have had to let our staff leave the campus for safety reasons‚" Ramotshela said.

The university announced on Sunday that it had resolved to re-open applications for the 2018 academic year for prospective first-time undergraduate students who had not previously applied for admission for the 2018 academic year.

The decision was taken following communication from Universities SA (USAF) on January 10 regarding how universities should manage walk-in students during the 2018 registration period.

The new deadline for applications is Friday.

Ramotshela said the university was unable to proceed with the business of the day due to the fracas‚ which resulted in prospective students who were blocked at the gate climbing over to gain entry to the campus.

"We will make a pronouncement on the way forward with the day that has been lost‚" he said.

Ramotshela said the university management held successful talks with the EFF Student Command‚ which demanded that the application process be re-opened and that walk-ins be allowed‚ on Friday.

A student‚ who had travelled all the way from Machiding in the former KwaNdebele homeland‚ about 140km northeast of Pretoria to collect his financial statement at the university’s Sunnyside campus‚ said he was pushed around and sworn at on Friday.

"[EFF Student Command] were blocking the gate‚ turning people away in a very aggressive manner. I returned [on Monday] only to be sent back by the Sasco people at the gate. It is a very frustrating situation‚" third-year IT student Jan Skosana said.

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