Intervarsity News

Intervarsity News 11 April 2016


University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
On Monday, 4 April, student protests, led by the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania, disrupted academic activities on Wits’s Braamfontein campus. According to News24, protesters chanting “fees must fall” disrupted lectures, vandalised property, and started a fire in a lecture hall in the Umthombo Building. The university condemned the behaviour from what it said were approximately 150 individuals.

Speaking to eNCA, Prof. Andrew Crouch, Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of academics at Wits, said that there were a number of causes protesters aligned themselves with, predominantly relating to demands for free education and the insourcing of workers. According to Wits management, no injuries were reported and no significant damage was done to property. The university has since deployed additional security to the affected campus.

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Tshwane University of Technology

Students were requested to vacate two campuses in Shoshonguve on 8 March. The announcement was made on 7 March, giving students 24 hours to make alternative accommodation arrangements. Some students had to find churches and community halls to stay in on Tuesday night.

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Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Protests have continued at TUT. Lectures were scheduled to start on 1 February but due to the strike opposing outsourcing, EWN reports that students on the West campus had to be turned away because of the continued disruptions. The strike against outsourcing ensued after the workers and the EFFSC rejected the proposed R5000 monthly salary, with the gradual absorption of workers into the workforce. Although there have been reports that say a deal has been agreed upon, the Citizen reports that a small group continues to protest in rejection of the deal. Leadership spearheading the battle against outsourcing stated that the agreement must be modified to their satisfaction or the university might see a more intensified protest. Management, however, said that academic activities should return to normal by the end of 2 February. The university’s spokesperson spoke to ENCA and said, “We are an institution of learning and cannot let the academic year continue being disrupted.” Registration has been extended to 19 February. The university has received a court order barring protesters from accessing the universities premises.

University of Cape Town (UCT) EWN reports that yet another student was raped near campus “while walking in the Rhodes Memorial.” This is the second reported case of rape within the space of just five weeks. The incident that occurred on 19 January saw the student approached by two unknown men who followed her. “The institution’s management has urged students to avoid the area, especially at night,” EWN reports. Both women have been offered counselling by the university.

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Intervarsity news Issue 4


Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)

Three TUT students have been injured in two separate robbery incidents at the Metro Rail station near the university’s Pretoria West campus. The first incident saw a student shot and admitted to hospital in a critical condition. The other incident resulted in two students being stabbed. The pair is in a stable condition.

TUT shut down both of its Shoshanguve campuses on 24 February after #FeesMustFall protests in which protesters, who demanded a R1 500 residence food allowance and an end to financial exclusion, became disruptive to lectures. This is despite TUT’s 2015 interdict against protesters that still remains in effect. Lectures on the Shoshanguve campuses resumed the following day.

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Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
On 17 January, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) SRC launched a fundraising initiative for its needy students called #enablingDREAMS. According to their Facebook page, this campaign was catapulted by “over 1600 students at NMMU alone [who] are at risk of being excluded from higher education because the government does not want to prioritise a brighter future”. The movement seeks to raise funds to establish a food bank and a book collection programme to support students in need.


University of Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch University’s (Maties) SRC has launched a campaign dubbed “Register All” to assist its needy students after realising the financial plight that many Maties students faced through awareness raised by the #FeesMustFall campaign. “We have seen a need to assist students that come to this university from various rural areas. They are unable to pay registration fees [upfront],” James de Villiers from Maties’ SRC told Eyewitness News.

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