South Africa 19.10.2015 03:18 pm

Wits council’s electronic response angers students

Wits University students protest at West Campus in Johannesburg, 14 October 2015, for the  increasing of the upfront  fee payments . Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Wits University students protest at West Campus in Johannesburg, 14 October 2015, for the increasing of the upfront fee payments . Picture: Nigel Sibanda

After scores of students and staff members waited at the Senate house at Wits to be addressed by the council of the University as arranged, Wits took a decision to address students electronically, saying it is due to the safety reasons as the atmosphere at the house was not safe.

Though the university had not clarified whether the fee hike stays or not, it said in a statement that the Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Habib had committed to use his bonus to help academically deserving needy students.

Council of the university said it would meet in November regarding the renegotiations of the fee hike. Student leaders said they felt like they were not taken seriously as the council had just used a “letter” to address them.

Leaders said they were giving Habib an hour to address them or they were going to block traffic in Braamfontein.

The angry students also said that they would make sure no lectures would resume on Tuesday as stated by council in the statement.

Campus control joined students in the protest.

As a result, angry students plan to shut down the university until the council address them personally.
“We have been doing this peacefully but Wits had obviously taken our grievances  for granted.

“Because the council think they are strategic by raising fee increment during examinations, we will stand our ground and it will be their loss not ours,” said Dlamini.

Students cheered Dlamini at Senate House as he was setting out a plan for the next coming days. Dlamini said the fee increment was a plan for the university to divide the rich and the poor.

“Now the university refuses to talk to us, they would even go to courts for urgent applications but we are shutting down this university until our cry is heard.”

Students pleaded with government to intervene, “stakeholders must also intervene, we can’t  sit at home with our brains, we want to kill poverty and the only way to do that is through education,” said the SRC president Shaeera Kalla.

“We are saying we cannot afford.”
The protest continues.

 

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