Emotions ran high during a staff meeting at the University of the Witwatersrand last week over the much-criticised police and security action on campus during last year’s violent fee protests.
Campuses were calm this week as students returned to class. But, with the possibility that protests may resume, the “securitisation” of campuses remains a burning issue.
At a meeting between academics from the humanities department and Wits vice-chancellor Adam Habib, some academics raised last year’s presence of police and private security guards on campus, which, according to a senior academic, resulted in “heated exchanges”.
“The university believes it had no choice but to bring in the police and private security and Adam reiterated those arguments,” said the academic.