Wits man­age­ment con­fi­dent classes will re­sume

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

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

Shaeera Kalla

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