Sasco fails to close down varsities

2010-03-04 15:47

Johannesburg - A Sasco vow to shut down nine universities did not materialise on Thursday, with little disruption to classes despite attempts at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to block students from entering the campus.

The SA Students Congress (Sasco) on Wednesday said it would shut down operations on campuses countrywide in protest to demand free education.

Apart from morning protests at UJ, where entrances to the Bunting road campus were barricaded with stones and burnt items, no serious disruptions were reported at any of the nine tertiary institutions.

UJ registrar,  Professor Marie Muller said: "Academic and student activities continued as usual.

"This morning (on Thursday), a group of students barricaded the access points to the Bunting road campus. However, they have been cleared and the situation is under control."

The police used a water tanker to spray students on several occasions at UJ on Thursday after they tried to block an entrance.

Former Student Representative Council president Mhlobo Hoyi said they were not just demanding free education, but also wanted more support for students who failed their first year studies.

"We have many students who were turned away this year because they failed...we want more support for them. It's not entirely their fault that they failed. The education system is very poor," he said.


Sasco president Mbulelo Mandlana said all protests were peaceful and condemned "reports of unwarranted police brutality at the University of Johannesburg".

He said there were reports of "pepper spraying and water spraying" and denied that protesters put burning items in front of some entrances, as was reported by police spokesperson Julia Claassen.

Mandlana confirmed that Sasco members had barricaded entrances, but said it did not necessitate the "force" the police used.

He said he could confirm that protests had taken place at UJ, Durban University of Technology, University of Zululand, Walter Sisulu University, Tshwane University of Technology and the Cape Peninsula University for Technology.

All protests were calm, said Mandlana, a statement that was confirmed by police spokespeople in several provinces, excluding the UJ demonstrations.

Sasco on Wednesday said it would also protest at the University of Venda, University of Limpopo and University of Western Cape but there were no reports of protests at these institutions on Thursday.

TUT spokesperson Gilbert Mokwatedi said classes continued as usual at all its campuses.

"We didn't have any problems. People were just going on with their normal business."


Education department spokesperson Ranjeni Munusamy said the government could not condone violent protests.

"We were informed late yesterday [on Wednesday] that these protests would be peaceful demonstrations...

"We were not aware of any intention to barricade entrances and to prevent students from entering campuses.

"While we are sympathetic to the call for free education, we do not support any violence on campuses or disruption to the academic programme," said Munusamy.

Sasco is planning to stage a march to Parliament in Cape Town on Friday.

Students said they were unhappy because President Jacob Zuma paid little attention to education in his State of the Nation address.

Mandlana said Sasco wanted to put pressure on the government as more than 135 000 students were not at tertiary institutions because of financial constraints.

Asked where he got the 135 000 figure from, Mandlana said it was a "rough estimation" based on the number of matriculants who passed last year but who did not register at tertiary institutions.

According to statistics released by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in January, 93 356 matriculants qualified for higher certificate studies, while another 131 035 qualified for diploma studies.

Mandlana said an estimated 100 000 matriculants had registered for tertiary studies countrywide this year.

Read more on:    sasco  |  angie motshekga  |  mbulelo mandlana  |  johannesburg  |  university of johannesburg  |  protests  |  education

Mthembu remains in ICU

39 minutes ago

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24

/Dewani Trial

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.