Wits cancels medical exams

2015-10-20 13:26
(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 - Exams scheduled to take place at the University of the Witwatersrand medical campus on Tuesday have been cancelled, amid continuing student protests against proposed tuition fee increases next year.

"Logistically it would have been a challenge to change venue," university spokesperson Shirona Patel told News24.

The exams have been postponed to a later date.

With the main exam period expected to begin in 11 days, Patel said the university needed between a week and 10 days to prepare.

"What we are trying to do is extend the academic programme into the first week of December. If we can't, we will have to make up for it after hours," she said.


The students protesting outside the Wits Medical School are expected to march back to the main campus later on Tuesday to await the outcome of Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande's meeting with university vice chancellors on the fee protests taking place on campuses around the country, Patel said.

The meeting was taking place between 11:00 and 13:00, with Nzimande expected to address media later on Tuesday in Cape Town.

Outside the medical school traffic was being diverted on York Road, allowing only ambulances to enter the school premises.

Parents who work for the university on contract also came out to support the protesting students.

"We are here to support our children; we work for the university on contract. The money they [Wits] want, we can't afford with the money they pay us, which is R2 700," said mother Motsatsi Seoka.


Former Wits student representative council president Mcebo Dlamini, who was stripped of his position earlier this year after comparing all white people with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, told the assembled students the revolution was at the medical school and they had to maintain a complete shutdown.

"We are going to hold our ground until we get what we want," he said.

But he advised students not to forget to study.

Musician Simphiwe Dana is expected to perform at the main campus later on Tuesday afternoon in support of students.

But not everyone is pleased with the protests; one motorist was unable to pick up someone at the cancer ward. She was low on petrol and pleaded with students to let her through. They told her they would not negotiate.

"You have no shame. You are supposed to be doctors," the woman said before turning back.

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.

Read more on:    wits university  |  johannesburg  |  education  |  university fees  |  protests

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