A small group of protesting Wits University students led by the EFF Student Command attempted to torch a lecture hall after disrupting classes and demanding free education. Only minor damage was caused
Only minor damage was caused.
The protesters said although they were a faction of the #FeesMustFall movement, the action was a continuation of last year’s #FeesMustFall campaign. They claimed some students were facing exclusion for not being able to come up with the agreed portion of tuition fees after they missed a registration fee waiver at the beginning of the academic year.
The fees office was shut down and the police were called in to monitor the protest .
But Wits management said no students would be de-registered or barred if they were unable to meet the payment deadline of March 31.
It said only 140 Funza Lushaka teaching students were unable to secure funding from the Department of Higher Education scheme but alternative arrangements would be made to keep them in the system.
Wits SRC general secretary Fasiha Hassen said yesterday’s protest had not be enendorsed by the SRC, #FeesMustFall or #RhodesMustFall movements.
She said a meeting held over the weekend that had not included ” vital structures, student leaders and groups” had decided on the protest .
“We continue to be committed to the fight for decolonisation and free education, but will not allow factions that exclude us to gain relevance. There were deliberate, determined attempts to exclude a lot of people from the meeting and the protest,” said Hassen.
EFF Student Command leader Vuyani Pambo said the action was also about students who were suspended after protests in January.
Chaos is expected at Tshwane University of Technology Soshanguve campuses as classes resume this morning.
The university was closed indefinitely on March 7 due to violence and intimidation.
Yesterday the university said safety measures and security would be in place.[Source: Times Live]