Campus Watch: Wits University reopens following student protests

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Campus Watch: Wits University reopens following student protests

The University of Witwatersand (Wits), South Africa has reopened after student demonstrations forced its closure last week.

Nationwide protests calling for free education have highlighted the continuing sense of inequality felt by many black students, more than two decades after the end of apartheid.

Many universities were forced to either close or consider closing – just before the exam period – in order to deal with the discontent.

Upon reopening, demonstrators at Wits hurled rocks at security guards, while police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as they attempted to disperse the crowd. A number are believed to have been arrested.

A University spokeswoman confirmed that lectures had resumed, and in a subsequent statement Wits urged students and staff to return to classes, even if disruptions occur.

Wits has vowed to increase control of access to the university, including comprehensive and sporadic checks of all vehicles, and has stated: “All persons arrested by the police may immediately be suspended. All suspensions will immediately be processed for finalisation through disciplinary hearings.”

Jonny Chard

(Image: Reuters)

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