Wits students arrested as classes resume

10 October 2016 - 13:44 By Tmg Digital

At least two students face possible immediate suspensions under tough conditions set by University of the Witwatersrand as part of its preparations to restart its academic programme on Monday. Student newspaper WitsVuvuzela‏@WitsVuvuzela tweeted: #Wits confirms that the FNB building has been flooded & 2 students have been arrested. #FeesMustFall — IG: WitsVuvuzela (@WitsVuvuzela) October 10, 2016 Some reports said the students had been arrested for carrying sticks and forcing other students out of classes.The university‚ in announcing that it would reopen on Monday‚ laid down strict instructions‚ including: “We are completely opposed to violent protest. As such‚ anyone carrying rocks‚ stones‚ weapons or any other items that can be used to destroy property or inflict harm‚ will immediately be disarmed‚ and may be suspended.”It also warned: “All persons arrested by the police may immediately be suspended. All suspensions will immediately be processed for finalisation through disciplinary hearings.” A threat that “large groups of people engaged in protest action will not be allowed to gather outside the designated areas”‚ however‚ seemed to have been ignored as students marched around campus.Academic activities resumed earlier on Monday morning under the watch of a large police and private security personnel contingent.The students were subjected to stepped-up security measures‚ after Wits management had cautioned that “rigorous control of access to the university‚ including comprehensive and sporadic checks of all vehicles‚ including buses‚ will be implemented”. One student said the measures had created confusion. Mosunki ore Ahlile ‏@bona_baratile tweeted: #AskAdam why he said classes are resuming on Monday morning, but mandated private security to tell us we can't enter. It's 6:29 am at Wits pic.twitter.com/PEOdtrZmhE — Mosunki ore Ahlile (@bona_baratile) October 10, 2016 Fees Must Fall student leader Mcebo Dlamini had on Sunday been adamant that the university will remain shut until demands are met‚ and the Student Representative Council had called on students to gather at the Piazza on the East Campus from 7am.“Tomorrow Wits will remain shut. We extended a hand to the university on Friday and we said to them we are willing to discuss and negotiate‚" said Dlamini."Since Friday till now‚ the university has not come back to us. So we are left with no alternative but to say we no longer recognise (the university’s vice chancellor) Adam Habib.”Habib had on Friday announced that a General Assembly‚ at which a declaration of a resolution of the fees protest crisis had been expected to be announced‚ was postponed after student leaders changed their demands. – TMG Digital

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