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Bishops concerned about 'militarised presence' at varsities

Politics
Johannesburg – The Anglican Church's Synod of Bishops on Monday warned that a “militarised presence” on some university campuses creates “a false sense of calm ... which conceals the potential for renewed violent confrontation”.

In a statement Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said the Anglican Church's Synod of Bishops is appealing to university managements to scale back "to normal levels" the presence of security guards on campuses.

"While we are grateful for those campuses which have returned to normality, we are deeply concerned at the presence of police and increased numbers of security personnel on a number of campuses."

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The Anglican Church's Synod of Bishops warned that a “militarised presence” on some university campuses creates “a false sense of calm ".Picture: Phando Jikelo

The Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, assembled in Benoni from February 20 to 24, reflected on the state of education in South Africa.

This was in specific regard to the disruptions of the educational process arising from the protests over university fees, curricula and the living conditions, transport problems and safety of students which have formed part of the #FeesMustFall, #Decolonized Education and similar campaigns.

The synod of bishops concluded that "this militarised presence kills dialogue and serves to deepen polarisation" between students and management.

"In doing so, it induces a false sense of calm on those campuses, which conceals the potential for renewed violent confrontation. We therefore also call on university managements to withdraw the police and to scale back to normal levels the presence of security guards on campuses."

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