South Africa 19.1.2016 07:00 am

Varsities united against protests

A student leader joins other students in song as they march. Picture: Refilwe Modise

A student leader joins other students in song as they march. Picture: Refilwe Modise

“Violent” sporadic incidents by small groupings a concern for VCs.

Vice-chancellors from various universities that have been rocked by the continuation of the #Feesmustfall student protests in Gauteng, since last week, are calling on churches and civil society to mediate, to ensure that the institutions of higher learning do not suffer long term damage.

The universities that have been affected by the protests so far, include Wits, University of South Africa (Unisa), University of Pretoria (UP), University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Vaal University of Technology (VUT).

Speaking at a briefing called by the vice-chancellors in Johannesburg yesterday, Ihron Rensburg of the UJ, said they were concerned about what he termed as “violent” sporadic incidents by small groupings, that have marred the protest action.

Yesterday police said protestors tried to torch a truck in the UP premises by throwing petrol bombs at it.

“Very little damage was caused to the truck and no one was injured,” said spokesperson Kay Makhubela.

Rensburg said; “Students cannot lose a year of learning because of a minority that is trying to disrupt the academic proceeding at universities.

“We also want to say that damage to university property will not be a solution to the challenges faced.”

He stressed that any attempt to disrupt day-to-day operations at universities must not be accepted, saying that all necessary steps will be taken to ensure the safety of students, staff members and everyone else at the respective universities.



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