Wits completes 2016 academic year, despite protests

2016-12-01 19:11
Police attempt to arrest activist Mcebo Dlamini on the Wits campus during this week’s protests. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Police attempt to arrest activist Mcebo Dlamini on the Wits campus during this week’s protests. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The University of the Witwatersrand has completed its 2016 academic year successfully, despite student protests, Vice Chancellor Adam Habib said on Thursday.

"Despite the disruptions experienced in September and October, through extending the academic calendar and revising examination dates, we effectively lost only three teaching days," Habib said.

All examinations were completed on Wednesday. Supplementary and deferred examinations would be written in December and January.

The university said it had received 70 000 applications for 6 200 first-year places for 2017.

Wits University had a tumultuous year due to Fees Must Fall protests. Protesters and police clashed repeatedly on campus, and students ran riot in Braamfontein, destroying property.

In October, police shot former Wits SRC leader Shaeera Kalla nine times with rubber bullets.

Former SRC president Mcebo Dlamini was arrested and charged with public violence, theft, malicious damage to property, and assault. He was released on R2 000 bail.

Habib said he hoped a solution would be found to the underfunding of the higher education sector.

"The successful completion of the academic year under strenuous circumstances was no easy feat and it would not have been possible were it not for the unwavering commitment of the university community, including its students, staff, parents, alumni, donors and others who supported the university during this time,” he said.

Graduation ceremonies would be held between December 6 and 13.

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