Some universities remain closed

Wits Student closed down all the entrances to the university during their protest for fees increase. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso

Wits Student closed down all the entrances to the university during their protest for fees increase. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso

Published Oct 26, 2015


Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma’s “no university fee increase for 2016” announcement appears to have divided some universities about whether to resume classes.

Wits University will remain closed on Monday.

All academic activities were also suspended at the University of Pretoria, the institution announced on Facebook on Monday afternnoon.

The university had earlier said that it would reopen on Monday.

UCT would also remain closed on Monday, as student bodies meet to decide on a “course of action”.

UCT Sasco representative, Siya Ntombela said students were now going to support workers in their struggle at the university.

“We will wait on the workers and their leadership to inform us of a way forward. If they want to strike, we will have to stand behind them, as they stood behind us and our cause.”

The University of Johannesburg suspended lectures on Monday following consultations with the Student Representative Council (SRC).

“This decision follows consultations between UJ management and the SRC on October 25. This allows for the SRC to consult and provide leadership to students on relevant matters, after which management and student leadership will issue a joint statement on the way forward,” the institution said.

Lectures and exams at the university would be suspended on Monday and Tuesday.

The University of the Western Cape said it would reopen on Monday. The final exams at UWC have been postponed by a week and were now scheduled to start next Monday.

Students at Stellenbosch University were requested to contact their respective faculties on Monday to confirm details related to the postponement (by one week) of the final examination. All administrative and professional support services were set to “continue as normal” from Monday, the university said.

CPUT management was meeting with its SRC late on Sunday night, and vice-chancellor Prins Nevhutalu was hoping that the group would be able to “reach a breakthrough and return university functions back to normal as soon as possible”.

On Sunday night, Wits University students were locked in a meeting on the way forward. Many who had previously supported the Fees Must Fall campaign have began expressing dissatisfaction that the institution would probably remain closed on Monday.

A third year mechanical engineering student Saieshan Vandayar began a petition asking that the protests be halted.

Vandayar urged Shaeera Kalla, the SRC president, to call off the protests on campus and to ask her followers to resume preparing for exams so that the final week of lectures may be presented, and exams can run their course without further disruption.

By Sunday night, more than 3 200 students had signed the petition.

Many students also took to Twitter asking the SRC to allow them to write their exams.

On Sunday, Wits spokeswoman Shirona Patel said that on Monday a special meeting of the senate – the highest decision-making body of the university – would take place.

The Star, Cape Argus and IOL

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