The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has noted, with concern, assertions reported in the media following the death of a student as a result of a shooting incident at a privately owned student accommodation on Saturday, 5 November 2016.
Unfortunately, many of the reports are characterised by poorly substantiated allegations by students, who claim a ‘private security guard’ employed by UJ was involved in the incident, creating the impression of widespread irresponsible behaviour by security personnel.
To clarify, the security guard involved was not in the employ of UJ. The University is working with the South African Police Services (SAPS) to investigate the incident which led to the untimely death of the student.
In recent months, the University has received criticism regarding the conduct of private security at our campuses. UJ’s Management condemns any unlawful conduct of security services to the University. While it is not ideal to have private security and SAPS based at our campuses, it is the University’s duty to ensure additional security measures enable us to fulfil our responsibilities to secure life, protect property and ensure minimum interruption to the core business and the completion of the academic programme.
Furthermore, the University recognises the need for off-campus accommodation given the high demand for student housing and the limited availability in our own residences. To this end, it has established an Off-Campus Accommodation Office that evaluates all off-campus accommodation against specific criteria and living standards aligned to the standards of the University. UJ acknowledges that it has experienced several challenges related to privately owned accommodation. These matters are being afforded the highest attention by the Management of the University as the safety and security of our students remains our key priority. All reported complaints are actively investigated with the appropriate actions being taken, including investigating operations at privately owned accommodation to be found in breach of University guidelines.