National 21.9.2016 07:43 am

Wits suspends academic activities

Wits students continue to gather support on the steps outside the Great Hall on September 21. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Wits students continue to gather support on the steps outside the Great Hall on September 21. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

On Tuesday, 31 students were arrested and taken to Hillbrow Police Station.

The University of the Witwatersrand has suspended all academic activities from Wednesday in the wake of student protests over fees hikes.

The protests erupted on Monday soon after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that universities could decide their own fee increases capped at eight percent.

The protests continued on Tuesday and became increasingly violent with running battles between students and security guards at the Wits main campus. Police also fired stun grenades to disperse protesting students.

In a terse statement late on Tuesday the university said: “Dear colleagues and students following the events of today, and considering the safety of our staff and students, we, the Senor Executive Team of the University of the Witwatersrand, in consultation with the chairperson of the council, have taken the decision to suspend all university activities for the rest of the week”.

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The university said only staff working at residences and the dining halls should report for duty.

Students have warned against the “militarisation” of the institution in apparent reference to the huge number of police in riot gear deployed at the main campus.

On Tuesday, 31 students were arrested and taken to Hillbrow Police Station.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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