UWC exams off to volatile start

2016-11-07 12:29
Police outside the UWC admin block. (Photo: @pvanheus/Twitter)

Police outside the UWC admin block. (Photo: @pvanheus/Twitter)

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Cape Town - University of the Western Cape (UWC) students were transported off the campus to external venues under police guard after protesters tried to prevent examinations from going ahead on Monday.

Police and security were at the campus after fewer than 100 protesting students attempted to derail the exams until demands they had previously made were met.

A student leader told News24 that they did not want the exams to go ahead if their issues were not resolved.

He warned that those writing the exams would be "dealt with".

A law student, who sought alternative transport following the morning disruptions, said he understood the reasons for the protest, but still wanted to finish his final exams and "end this hectic year".

Exams were written at four off-campus venues in Bellville and Bellville South on Monday.

UWC spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said exams were going ahead as planned and that the first exam session was already halfway done. Strict security measures had been put in place.

Meanwhile, two arson attacks took place on the UWC campus at the weekend.

The ResLife building was torched on Friday, while the education building was set alight on Sunday.

The blazes were quickly extinguished and the university was assessing the damage, Tyhalibongo said.

Cases of arson were being investigated.

In September, when a fresh wave of university protests started, UWC students submitted a memorandum detailing their demands.

Top of the list was free, quality, black-centred education.

They wanted all student debts to be cleared, and registration and application fees to be scrapped.

Other concerns related to safety and the affordability of accommodation, study materials, and clinics.

Students also demanded free sanitary pads and 10GB of free data per month for those off campus.

Wi-Fi and internet access was already free on campus.

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Read more on:    uwc  |  university fees  |  university protests

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