Education protests continue unabated in 2016

2016-05-20 22:09
University students protest (Mpho Raborife, News24)

University students protest (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Cape Town - After the #FeesMustFall protests of last year, which led to university fee increases being scrapped and other financial stop gaps, many thought 2016 would be a quiet year.

However, campus protests have continued unabated. And at least 50 schools were closed in a demarcation dispute in Limpopo, leaving large numbers of pupils with nowhere to study.

Here is a list of some of this year's protests at various campuses nationwide:

Jan 27 - Students clash with police at the Tshwane University of Technology's Pretoria West Campus over outsourcing - the practice of getting staff from outside agencies. The system is unpopular because it does not offer job security or benefits, such as medical aid. Police fire rubber bullets.

Feb 15 - A bus is torched, busts of General Jan Smuts and Maria Emmeline Barnard Fuller are painted red during a protest over student accommodation and colonialist and apartheid era symbolism at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The protest began when some students erected a shack to highlight the student housing crisis and to protest black people being called "monkeys". Fires were started in dustbins around the shack area.

Feb 16 - Paintings are set alight at UCT, including work by Richard Baholo, the first black student to receive a masters degree in fine art at UCT, in a protest over colonialist and apartheid-era symbolism. A vehicle is also torched.

Feb 17 - UCT Vice Chancellor Max Price announces that his office was torched overnight;

Feb 24 - A science building is torched at the University of North West;

March 7 - Tshwane University of Technology shuts down its Soshanguve campus during protests believed to be over outsourcing;

March 10 - Fires are started at the University of Stellenbosch during protests over outsourcing;

April 4 - Protesters start a fire at Wits' Braamfontein campus to back up their call for free education for all;

April 20 - Rhodes University closes as a result of clashes with police during an anti-rape protest. Students started protesting after a list was circulated naming alleged rapists on campus;

April 29 - The Masia Traditional Council loses a court application to challenge the Municipal Demarcation Board's decision to merge Vuwani municipality with parts of the Malamulele municipality in Vhembe district;

May 10 - Education Minister Angie Motshekga says Vuwani is declared a disaster area after 50 schools are closed during the dispute. At least 24 schools are burnt down.

May 11 - Buildings are torched at Vaal University of Technology in protests over the safety of students on campus and how security guards are hired;

May 12 - Rhodes University says an arson attempt at the campus was foiled;

May 12 - Vaal University of Technology suspends teaching after days of violent protests;

May 16 - The University of Johannesburg's auditorium is torched, with over 1 000 seats and computer equipment going up in flames;

May 18 - The University of Fort Hare gets an interdict to prevent further protests after fires are started on campus as the university prepares to celebrate its centenary;

May 19 - Fourteen students are arrested in connection with the protests at Fort Hare over housing and transport;

May 20 - Students barricade the entrance to the University of Fort Hare, saying they will not let President Jacob Zuma in to speak at the centenary commemorations. 

Read more on:    education

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