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Wits suspends ‘disruptors’ following student protests

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Wits University has suspended “disruptors who transgressed the university’s rules” during ongoing protests at the institution, it said in a statement released on Thursday night.

“This afternoon we issued multiple suspension orders to disruptors who transgressed the university’s rules. The legal office will continue to work through the evidence submitted by the Wits community to ensure perpetrators who can be identified are charged,” the university said.

“During the course of the suspension processes and other investigations, we found some perpetrators who were committing infractions were academically excluded. Some had failed multiple times, had lost their funding and were demanding to be registered,” it said.

Lectures at the university were disrupted by student protests this week.

Shops were forcefully shut, roads blocked and infrastructure damaged in the ensuing chaos in streets in Braamfontein.

Protesting students were calling for an end to financial exclusion, for the cap on residence allowances from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to be scrapped and a lack of accommodation rectified.

The university said it had reached out to the school’s student representative council which had “declined to engage” with Wits management.

It confirmed university activities would continue as scheduled on Friday and asked “lecturers and academics to make up for any time lost today, and to upload relevant material to ulwazi [the portal]”.

“We know this disruption is frustrating and that it impacts on members of the university community. We are managing the situation and we thank you for your patience and cooperation.”

Source: TimesLIVE

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