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Wits‚ TUT classes go ahead despite protests

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The University of the Witwatersrand and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) said classes will continue on Friday‚ despite repeated protests by #FeesMustFall protesters. Wits announced on Friday morning that two students were arrested following protests by students who used stones to break several windows and damaged several buildings overnight.

The university‚ on its Twitter account‚ said the protesters tried to start fires near the Old Mutual Hall‚ DJ du Plessis Building‚ the grandstand at the Science Stadium and the Umthombo Building. The fires were extinguished quickly‚ but some buildings were flooded as protesting students left the taps open. The campuses were already “being cleaned and classes will resume on Friday morning”‚ the university tweeted.

Those protest actions came after “mediators informed Wits management that the student leaders will not be attending” a planned meeting “in good faith to charter a way forward that is beneficial to all”‚ according to a statement on the university’s website.

TUT said it experienced disruptions at its Pretoria‚ Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve campuses on Thursday‚ but said the situation “was managed and contained and minimal damage to property was sustained”.

The university said at Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve‚ the entrances to the campuses were obstructed‚ which prevented some staff members and students from entering and continuing with academic activities.

At its Pretoria campus‚ a small group of protesters were dispersed by the SAPS. It said disruptions continued during the day‚ and a small guard house was set alight.

The situation was quickly contained by Campus Protection and the police.

The university said academic activities also did not take place at Polokwane campus‚ although the situation remained calm at there.

Classes proceeded at the Arcadia‚ Arts‚ eMalahleni and Mbombela campuses. The situation at all campuses is being monitored.

The university said the disruptions experienced on Wednesday and Thursday had already impacted negatively on the revised academic calendar.

“TUT has resolved to assist our students to successfully complete this academic year. It is therefore in the interest of the university and our students to continue with operations. “

It said “in view of the safety of its staff and students‚ security measures would remain reinforced at all the university’s campuses”.

“Staff and students are reminded that they will only be able to access campuses with their TUT identification cards.”

[Source: Times Live]
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