Students act on vow to close varsity

2010-03-04 13:54

UNIVERSITY of Johannesburg (UJ) students protested outside its Bunting Road campus today but failed to bring lectures to a complete standstill as they had vowed they would do.

Protesting students barricaded the university entrance with burning

tyres this morning and police used a water cannon to disperse the group.

Dozens of students sang struggle songs while police kept a close

eye on proceedings. They dispersed after handing over a memorandum to UJ

executive director for student affairs Professor Bobby Mandew. In it they

demanded that the university halt financial and academic exclusions.

One student, Maizer Valgey, said that when he arrived at the campus

he was told his class had been cancelled.

But Mandew denied that lectures were cancelled and said no

incidents of intimidation were reported to him.

He also said UJ’s fees were reasonable compared to other

universities.

Student leader, Mhlobo Hoyi, speaking on behalf of the UJ

Progressive Youth Alliance, which represents the South African Students

Congress, ANC Youth League and the Young Communist League, said poor students

could not afford to pay high university fees. UJ hiked its fees by 10% this

year.

Hoyi said: “Students are responding to Sasco’s call that education

must be free until the first degree.”

However, he denied that protesters had disrupted classes.

Nosipho Buthelezi (19), a second-year logistics student, said it

was not possible to have free education but wanted fees to be reduced.

The students gave the university until Monday to respond to their

demands.


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