Classes resume at most universities amid protest actions

By Drum Digital
14 October 2016

Classes resumed today at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) regardless of the protest incidents of last night and this morning. Last night, four fires were distinguished at Braamfontein campuses, windows were damaged and some buildings were flooded with water as students left taps open

By Nomzamo Ngcobo

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This week alone, Wits has suspended eight students and 11 have been arrested. On their Twitter account, Wits SRC said there were stun grenades and rubber bullets at the Wits Science Stadium.  “We are not sure what the police are doing because there was no violence from students,” reads a tweet.

Last night, a residential block was set alight at the Vaal University of Technology’s main campus. Students were expected to meet with the university management this morning.

The Tshwane University of Technology said academic activities were also continuing at the university campuses today. This follows disruptions by protests at the Pretoria, Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve campuses yesterday.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal also says classes are continuing as normal at its campuses today. Yesterday, students and police clashed during a protest at the university’s Westville campus yesterday.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) said it was assessing the smoke damage caused to a ventilation system that serves the university’s Geological Sciences laboratory following the torching of a Toyota Hilux double cab bakkie.

The bakkie, used by students and researchers in the Geological Sciences department, was torched in the early hours of this morning. UCT spokesperson, Elijah Moholola said the car was parked outside the department’s building. He said members of the UCT’s Campus Protection Services were able to extinguish the fire so that it did not spread to other cars parked nearby.

No one was injured in the incident but Moholola said the toll from the fire could rise.  He said, “The damage could be severe and it is possible the ventilation system will have to be completely replaced. UCT is assessing the ventilation system as well as the lab equipment it serves,” he says. He added that a case of arson has been opened with the police.

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