Protesting UCT students clash with private security staff on Tuesday. Picture: David Ritchie

Cape Town - Police deployed to quell tensions at UCT ran for cover when protesters hurled dustbins and other objects at them. But, despite the violence, which ended with six students arrested, the university’s vice-chancellor Max Price said the university will remain open.

Price said the university will engage students on a number of issues, including setting up an Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission.

Protesting students on Tuesday set off alarms in various buildings and wanted those in the buildings to join their cause.

Lab assistant at the chemical engineering building, Xolile Funda, said: “We just hear their freedom songs as they enter. We must run for our life. If UCT is closed, we are thinking of our jobs as well.”

Sinawo Thambo, who delivered a release to the media said: “Phakamani Ntentema was dragged by the face on the concrete, he was being taken to the Casspir with a bloody face. A girl was pulled by the hair, choked and man-handled by private security and handed over to the police.”

UCT spokesman Elijah Moholola said there were reports of "violence, harassment and intimidation”. At one stage police fired two stun grenades and a smoke grenade to disperse the crowd.

Meanwhile, classes at CPUT have been suspended until Friday.