Dear Campus Community
As I have done over the past two weeks, I wish to provide you with an update.
Yesterday morning we held a Staff Meeting where staff was very clear about the fact that the University management had to urgently find a way to resolve the current situation in order for academic activities and final exams to be able to continue.
Yesterday afternoon the SRC called a Mass Meeting of students, to update them on the agreements reached to date. The meeting was scheduled for lunchtime today and was so well attended that it had to be moved from the Main Hall to the Sports Stadium. Unfortunately the business of the meeting could not be dealt with given the standoff between the #feesmustfall movement and the SRC.
As per a pre-negotiated agreement, the SRC and the #feesmustfall movement had a meeting immediately after the mass meeting. The SRC and the #feesmustfall movement then issued an invitation for me to join them. After 7 hours of negotiations I am pleased to report that we reached agreement on all of the matters raised in the Memorandum of Agreement from the #feesmustfall movement that had not been resolved as part of the negotiations with the SRC. As part of the agreement reached the #feesmustfall movement agreed to immediately suspend protest action to allow for the normal resumption of the University’s academic activities and for exams to start on Monday.
For your information I attach the Agreement that was reached this evening. This must be read together with the earlier update from the SRC.
The issue of increased security, that had raised some concerns, was already addressed during the course of the day when we heard about the track-record of the company subcontracted by our security provider. In this regard we immediately withdrew the services of the company.
I wish to thank the UWC community for their understanding and support as well as both the SRC and the #feesmustfall leadership for the spirit in which the meeting took place. The past two weeks have been taxing on all of us and I have assured the SRC and the #feesmustfall movement of my commitment to work tirelessly to rebuild relationships and address some of the hurt experienced by all parties. I hope that as a staff community and as a broader campus community we can similarly restore our unity of purpose.
Prof Tyrone Pretorius
Rector and Vice-Chancellor