Police ask students to clear medical school road

2015-10-20 12:59
(Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

(Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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WATCH: Protesting Wits education students march to occupy medical campus

2015-10-20 09:48

Watch as protesting students move from Wits's education campus towards the medical campus in continued protests.WATCH

Johannesburg - Police asked protesting Witwatersrand University students on Tuesday to clear the road outside the Wits Medical School where they have been disrupting traffic all morning.

The students are protesting against proposed fee increases of 10.5% for next year and were preventing vehicles - apart from ambulances - from entering the property.  

Prior to their request on Tuesday, a small number of police looked on as students stood in the middle of York Street. Most motorists opted to turn back. 

But there were far fewer protesters than the numbers seen on the university's main campus and in Empire Road on Monday, though students indicated that others would join them later on Tuesday.

Earlier students threatened to beat up journalists, with one telling News24: "We don't want the media. You guys are painting us bad in front of our parents so we don't want you here." 

Photographers were also pushed by students.

The protesting students then went inside the campus, where it was believed they intended to disrupt exams, before returning to the entrance.

The protests flared up last week following the university's announcement that fees would be increased by 10.5% to account for rising costs and inflation.

This saw other protests begin - also over fees - at the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University and Stellenbosch University.

A protest at the University of Pretoria is expected to take place on Wednesday.

The latest reports indicate that the University of Fort Hare will join the protest. 

Classes at UCT, Rhodes and Wits were suspended on Monday and Tuesday because of the protests. 

In September there were violent protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's (UKZN) Westville campus on issues related to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, student accommodation and the university's intended closure of the Registration Appeals Committee.

The Witness reported on October 6 that the South African Students' Congress claimed varsity management had reached an agreement with the students’ representative council on their demands.

The university would not deny or confirm whether any agreement had been reached.

The university also decided to extend the current semester by a week because of the disruptions.

Read more on:    uct  |  wits  |  university fees

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