Wits to remain closed as students continue #FeesMustFall campaign

2015-10-24 20:01
Wits Vice Chancellor Adam Habib and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Wits Vice Chancellor Adam Habib and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Johannesburg - The University of Witwatersrand will remain closed on Monday after students announced that they will be continuing with their protests against the institution, Vice Chancellor Adam Habib said on Saturday.

"The students have just concluded their mass meeting and we have been told that despite the decision taken at the historic meeting between government, students and university leaders yesterday [Friday] to agree to a zero percent increase for 2016, and to reorganise the academic and examination programme, our students have decided to continue with their protest," Habib said.

He expressed his disappointment at the students' decision, which would put students' chances of passing or graduating in jeopardy.

"This will only further entrench and deepen the inequalities in our society."

He said a special meeting would be held on Monday by the senate - the institution's highest decision-making body - to discuss the protest and the resumption of the academic programme.

"The outcome will be communicated to all students and staff thereafter."

Habib said one of the reasons students had decided to continue with the protests was because of the institution's out-sourcing of workers.

"This is a matter that the university is investigating and which it will deliberate upon at council. Government also agreed at yesterday’s meeting to establish a task team to explore how the state could assist universities to address this challenge."

Students nationwide had protested the proposed fee hikes for 2016 for more than a week.

Protests began at Wits University before spreading to campuses throughout the country.

Yesterday, President Jacob Zuma announced that university heads and students’ leaders had agreed on a zero percent fee increment for next year.

His announcement was met with mixed reactions from students. Some were happy that one of their demands had been met, some wanted to know when the government would implement a policy of free education for all.

Wits SRC incoming president Nompendulo Mkatshwa was not immediately available for comment.

Read more on:    wits university  |  adam habib  |  johannesburg  |  university fees

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