Police called to Wits to monitor disruptive students

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Johannesburg - Police have been called in to monitor protesting Witwatersrand University students who disrupted lectures earlier today.

"The university has been obliged to call the police onto campus in order to protect students and staff who wish to continue with their academic and other university activities," the university said in a statement.

The students are opposed to the increase of the university's fees for next year which average at between 9 and 9.5 percent, with the MBA being an exception. It is proposed that fees for this course will increase by 15 percent. Residence fees are likely to increase by 11.8 percent.

The university said that while students have a right to protest peacefully, the rights of those who wish to continue to attend classes and university activities must also be respected.

On Tuesday, university management said it would take swift disciplinary action against those who disrupt lectures, a message that was reiterated on Wednesday.

Members of the Wits Senior Executive Team have met with representatives of the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), which is made up of the South African Students Congress (SASCO), the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) and the Young Communist League, on Wednesday.

They have discussed the points raised in a memorandum handed over to the university on Tuesday.