The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has noted with concern, a recent media report about a lecturer implicated in the assault of a student. The report included the unlawful, unethical and sensationalist use of UJ’s CCTV security footage. The University wishes to put on record that it does not tolerate violent or criminal behaviour among staff and students.
To this end, the University adheres to the necessary policies and codes to prevent and respond decisively to violent behaviour. Additionally, the University has deployed several human and infrastructure resources, such as CCTV cameras, as part of a comprehensive effort to prevent and combat crime on and around its campuses. These efforts include collaboration arrangements with the police and local crime-fighting entities such as neighbourhood security services and watches in the areas surrounding UJ campuses.
With particular reference to the matter of the lecturer involved in the assault of a student, the University wishes to put on record that no time was wasted in taking disciplinary steps, as per the University’s disciplinary procedures and codes of conduct for staff and students.
The disciplinary proceedings with respect to the lecturer – which were chaired by an external legal expert with the requisite level of knowledge and competence – were concluded, and the recommended sanctions were applied. Disciplinary procedures against all other persons implicated in this incident have recently been completed.
We are disappointed at the emergence of renewed media reports on an incident that occurred seven months ago and at the abuse of CCTV footage generated by the University as part of its strategy to prevent and combat crime. This is uncharacteristic of Primedia, a media house which we hold in high regard, owing to its commitment to crime prevention through the highly acclaimed LeadSA initiative.
The fight against crime begins with an acknowledgement of crime and violence as a national challenge. As such, we – communities and the media – can only win the war against crime if we collaborate and act responsibly and ethically. UJ stands ready to work with Primedia and others in the prevention of crime in Johannesburg and in our entire country.