Tensions were high at the University of the Witwatersrand on Tuesday as anger mounts from students over government’s decision to leave it to universities across the country to determine tuition fee increases for the 2017 academic year.
Protesting students hurled stones and other objects at the institution’s private security officers on Tuesday, vandalising the doors of the university’s historical Great Hall with rocks.
Following their march to the Parktown Education campus, students came back to the main campus, and just before 2pm, chaos broke out. Irate protesters threw stones in the direction of the Great Hall.
Broken door glasses and rocks could still be seen lying on the ground.
Later in the afternoon, the students were planning to go and disrupt classes that are believed to be in session on the West campus.
The defiant protesters were heard talking among each other, saying Wits must be completely shut down. Just before 4pm, students converged in front of the Great Hall.
Police officers and private security guards are also keeping a close eye on the protest.
Although Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said on Monday poor students and those falling in the missing middle category would benefit from a zero percent fee increase, some students viewed the move as segregational, saying that all that they demanded was free education for all.
Earlier in the day, the protesting students proposed to also close down the busy M1 highway in Johannesburg.