I don't mind coming back next year, my parents can afford it - #OpenUFS student`

2016-10-11 16:15
Protesting UFS students (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Protesting UFS students (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Bloemfontein - A handful of University of Free State students staged a silent protest on Tuesday, calling for academic activities to resume.

The academic programme was suspended due to violent disruptions by students.

The group held placards that read "#OpenUFS" and "I don't want to be a house wife."

Marizel Oosthuizen said that when the university suspended classes on Monday, students had decided to take a stand.

"I made plans already to finish and get a job. This is my final year and we want to continue with our studies. We support the #FeesMustFall protest, but it has been going on for quite some time. 

"If they (protesters) take away another week for us, then we are done," she told News24.

Another student said he was willing to join the protest if students directed it at government and not the university.

"I don't mind staying on campus for many years because my parents can afford it, but I think the protesters are doing things the wrong way. For this one we need to take it to the government and not the institution," said Walter Endres, representing the silent protesters.

51 students arrested

No work would take place on all three campuses on Wednesday and Thursday, it said in a statement on its website.

"The suspension of all academic activities on the campuses will ensure time for the university management to engage with stakeholders in order to find a solution to the crisis," UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader said.

She said, should a resolution not be reached, all UFS campuses would be closed until further notice.

On Monday evening, students threw stones at police as officers tried to remove them from campus. Earlier that day, students disrupted classes and tests on the Bloemfontein campus. About 51 students were reportedly arrested.

The Student Representative Council cancelled its media briefing following running battles with police.

The university had earlier said that, despite the protest, classes would continue.

Security personnel used paintball guns to disperse the protesting group outside computer labs at the university's main campus.

Despite the protests, some students said they attended classes without any disruptions.

Read more on:    university of free state  |  bloemfontein  |  university fees

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