Wits management confident classes will resume
WITS University vowed yesterday to continue with academic activities, despite disruptions and arson attacks on campus.
Wits spokeswoman Shirona Patel said two cars were set alight and two more overturned on Thursday night, and that disruption of classes took place yesterday morning.
“Four students tried to disrupt a lecture in the New Commerce Building, and set off a fire cracker during a lecture in the FNB Building. The lecturer and students continued with the lecture outside the venue. Campus control is following up on this matter.”
Patel said university management had considered lifting the 10pm cam- pus curfew implemented last week, but recent incidents of violence and arson could not be ignored.
“We will continue to relax the conditions progressively as the situation stabilises whilst continuing to open up more spaces for academic study after 10pm for those committed to their studies.”
The disruptions on campus continued unabated this week.
A library was torched and at least 100 books destroyed, and on Thursday student leader Shaeera Kalla was shot with rubber bullets by police after violence broke out.
With students having abandoned classes for weeks now to demand free higher education, the university said it was doing everything it could to complete the academic year.
Shutting down the university would have a negative impact on its 36 000 students, staff members and the 7 000 first-year students that needed to be welcomed next year, said Patel.
Yesterday, the ANC Women’s League condemned the violence during campus protests and urged law enforcement authorities to refrain from using force against protesters.
On Thursday the police said its watchdog organisation, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, would investigate the shooting incident at Wits, including that of Kalla.
Kalla said she was shot 13 times in the back while her hands were up, appealing to the police not to shoot. – ANA