Calm at UJ as cops patrol

2010-03-04 13:16

Johannesburg - The situation was "calm" at the University of Johannesburg's Bunting Road campus on Thursday following earlier protest action.

"The situation is under control at the moment and it's very unlikely it could get out of hand," said police spokesperson Constable Sefako Xaba.

A groups of fewer than a hundred students were singing struggle songs and dancing outside the campus watched by police armed with R5s. A police inyala was patrolling.

Earlier close to 200 students barricaded Bunting road and the entrances into the campus with stones and burning tyres. They were demanding free education for the poor.

More support for students

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

"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.

Police had to use a water tanker to spray students on several occasions in attempts to disperse them.

Inside the institution, a few classes were going ahead as planned, while on other campuses lectures continued as usual.

Countrywide protest

Sasco vowed on Wednesday to close down nine universities countrywide in protest action to demand free education.

Sasco secretary general Lazola Ndamase said the University of Venda, University of Limpopo, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Johannesburg, Durban University of Technology, University of Zululand, Walter Sisulu University, Cape Peninsula University for Technology and the University of Western Cape would be shut down on Thursday.

Ndamaso also said there would be a national march to Parliament in Cape Town on Friday.

He said a thousand students were expected to turn up.