FRANCOIS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN
A 40-year-old man was found trespassing in the Mopanie residence on 21 April.
A Mopanie resident explained that he saw the man trying to gain access to a locked room and that the man stopped when he noticed the student watching him. The man was arrested shortly thereafter and found guilty of trespassing.
Similarly, another man was found sleeping in one of Mopanie’s bathrooms on 25 April. This man was a former UP student and was arrested on charges of trespassing. The motive behind the trespassing is unclear and is being investigated.
Colin Fouché, Director of Security Services, is adamant that the access control systems at the residences are effective and secure, despite these incidents.
Fouché said that most trespassing incidents are the result of negligence. He said, “A residence is like a family. Like they believe in their traditions, they need to protect their family as well by showing collective responsibility.”
Mopanie Chairperson, Danie Ungerer, said, “I feel that it is the responsibility of the students to ensure that they don’t allow someone into the residence.” He believes the security systems are effective and that incidents were caused by the residents.
Fouché gave the following safety tips to residents: “Firstly, your student card is your key and it represents you as a student. If a student’s card is lost and the student does not report it, somebody else takes over the identity of that student.” Fouché urged students to immediately report lost student cards. “Secondly, if a stranger asks you to open the gate for them, do not blindly open the gate but rather report it to the HK or house father/mother or even to security.”
Fouché explained that students create opportunities for criminals to commit crime when they open doors for strangers, and thus students foster and assist crime indirectly.