National News

Live Coverage | student march to the Union Buildings

Live coverage of today's student march to the Union Buildings.

03:20: President Zuma has announced a 0% fee increase for 2016. 




02:49: Dr Malinga is here


02:47: People that caused the violence earlier at the are confirmed not to be students


02:43: Please use Prospect Street to enter Main campus


02:42: Campus is open for any UP student that needs safe guarding. Students need to produce student cards to be let onto Main Campus


02:42: Masses come to hear presidential address


02:41: An SRC leader has just confirmed that a 0% increase was agreed upon in a meeting with the president.


02:17: Protesters move back to fence




02:14: Passive protestors have left the union buildings now converged on the corner of Stanza Bopape &Beckett


02:14: Reports coming in that those causing the chaos at the Union Buildings are not students.


02:07: Protesters retreat as teargas is released.


02:02: Police have released green powder.


02:02: URGENT: Wits and UJ students being called back to their buses.


02:01: Police now using rubber bullets on students on the west side of the park.


02:00: Barbed wire fence broken by students.


01:58: Police not interested in helping students who can't get out - "your problem"


01:55: Protesters pull reinforcement barricades down. Police release teargas.




01:51: Protesters push police back,


01:51: Protesters fearless in front of police






01:41: Police move forward with pepper spray to block hole in the fence.


01:40: Very large portion of the crowd is still passive Another smaller portion has forced police to use stun grenades and water cannons






01:26: Police pepper spraying protesters that get too close


01:26: Stun grenades are fired and students cheer


01:25: Bricks and burning pieces are being thrown at police


01:23: Students gather in front of violent protesters and shout, "No violence!"


01:19: Students right in front of police, more buses are arriving.




01:17:The fence to the union buildings has been breached.


01:17: Flash grenades to the west of the stage. On the east side students are looking on.






01:10: Students attack police water cannon. Police drive through protest


01:05: One tree cought fire. Gun shots. crowds running




12:55: Water canons are being used on a group of students in the other side of the park


12:54: Dancing with some musical instruments. Still cheerful despite the tension waiting for the President






12:52: Sticks, stones and water bottles are being thrown over the fence on the western flank.




12:45: Grievance are said to be handed over to the president. He's "finding solutions " and will come to address students


12:44: Nzimande "the president is going address you"




12:40: The situation has calmed down. Students complaining about heat.





12:37: Control regained, students form a barrier between the damaged fence and the unruly protesters


12:37: They're asking for students to sit down to not seem threatening


12:36: Tensions running high as students retreat from the fence


12:36: Students shouting "Discipline, discipline!"


12:35: Rocks and sticks getting thrown, but student leaders pleading for calm.


12:25: A journalist has been hit in the back of the head with a rock as people tire of waiting for a late Zuma




12:33: Students chanting: "President Zuma where are you?"




11:59: Students shout over the fence, "Zuma must fall"


11:53: Groups of students are marching around the perimeter of the crowd, singing and dancing




11:48: More people arriving at the Union Buildings in anticipation for the President's addres


11:41: At 12:00 President Jacob Zuma will give a speech addressing the students










11:21: Part of the gate that has been broken. Police try to calm the situation.


11:20: Wits student, Mia Du Plesis comments: "education shouldn't just be for the privileged but for everyone"


11:17:  Students from multiple Gauteng universities have assembled in the park outside the Union buildings




11:12: Some protesters call for discipline while others chant "Discipline must fall"


11:11: Stones being thrown. Those at front don't seem like Tuks students, arrived earlier from Burgers Park.


11:06: Students are climbing over fences outside union building





10:49: March is still very peaceful. members pleading for slow marching.


10:48: Gates in front of the Union buildings stage now being locked down as students near.




10:42: Refreshment station at Hill and Pretorious str.



10:34: The crowd has started the national anthem


10:33: Students are now singing shosholoza


10:30: Protest leader tells some protesters "If you don't want to be led the police will take over"






10:25: Students are only getting louder as they shout "fees must fall!"




10:23: Police help marshal traffic


10:22: Order seems to have been restored. Marching briskly


10:21: @perdebynews Onlookers cheering students #UPrising #UPFeesMustFall #Tuks #NationalShutDown

— Bianca Meyer (@BibiMwa) October 23, 2015


10:16: protestors pass the Gautrain station


10:14: March picking up pace but has been slowed for now. #UPrising #UnionBuilding @perdebynews

— Mothusi (@_mo2c_) October 23, 2015

09:55: Media house photographer says he hopes cars burn - for good photos


 09:53:  #UPRising leader Luvuyo Menziwa shares his thoughts ahead of the march @perdebynews

— Huvasan Reddy (@HuvasanReddy) October 23, 2015

09:52: Numbers growing at Burgers Park as more buses arrive with students


09:51: Medical staff will be available to assist Tuks students. Thanks to SS Khuzwayo


09:17: Protesting students begin to leave the amphitheatre.


09:15: Amphitheatre is getting much fuller with students, who are in anticipation of the march to the Union Buildings.


08:47: Students have started gathering at the amphitheatre this morning before the march to the Union buildings.



07:12: UPrising leaders have announced the plan of action for today. Students will gather at the Amphitheatre and will be departing for Burgers Park at 09:00. They will then be meeting with protesting students from other universities to march to the Union Buildings.

President Zuma is expected to address students at 12:00 today at the Union Buildings.Students have been urged not to be alarmed when the police fire 10 shots as it is protocol and to remain in demarcated areas at all times.

First National Recreational Day launched in Pretoria


South Africa hosted its first ever National Recreational Day on 2 October. The event took place at the Tshwane Events Centre, with the aim of the event being to create awareness of the importance of physical activity, especially with a rise in diseases such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory ailments.

Visitors were kept active all day by participating in aerobics, tai chi, volleyball, tug-of-war, sack races, hula hooping, and many other activities. The program started at 10:00 and was led by the Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula.

Mbalula said, “Through the National Recreational Day, we encourage South Africans to be active and take part in sports. In that way we are creating a healthy lifestyle, and that is what it’s all about.”

Read more: First National Recreational Day launched in Pretoria

Red Bull X-Fighters return to Pretoria

Red Bull X-Fighters return to Pretoria


The Red Bull X-fighters returned to Pretoria on 12 September for the next leg of their world tour. This is the second time that Pretoria hosted the event after hosting it for the first time last year. The event took place at the iconic Union Buildings and drew a crowd of 17 000 spectators.

The day started with the bottom four riders, ranked at the qualifying rounds that took place the previous day, competing head to head for 60 seconds to claim the last spot in the top eight. Rémi Bizouard outperformed Alastair Sayer, Javier Villegas and Adam Jones to secure the spot in the top eight. Danny Torres pulled out of the qualifying round due to an injury that occurred the previous day during his first qualifying run.

In the quarter-final for the day, where the riders had 75 seconds to perform their stunts, David Rinaldo and Josh Sheehan competed in the first heat, Maikel Melero and Taka Higashino in the second heat, Clinton Moore and Rob Adelberg in the third heat and Rémi Bizouard and Tom Pagés in the fourth heat, with Sheehan, Higashino, Moore and Pagés qualifying for the semi-final round.

Read more: Red Bull X-Fighters return to Pretoria

UP partners in hosting World Homeless Day


The World Homeless Day event was hosted at the University of South Africa (Unisa) in partnership with the Tshwane Homeless Forum, the City of Tshwane and UP on 10 October.

The purpose of this event, which followed the Tshwane Homeless Summit that was hosted 25- 26 May, was to encourage people worldwide to create awareness about the issues that homeless people encounter and to help find paths out of homelessness.

Read more: UP partners in hosting World Homeless Day

Pledge a Pad launches 2015 campaign

Pledge a Pad launches 2015 campaign


One of the least freely talked about topics in society is the female menstrual cycle. Ignorance to these realities of the female body has resulted in the current plight of many women across South Africa.

With many South Africans living in poverty, basic sanitation has become a luxury afforded by few. That, coupled with a lack of self-knowledge, leads many women to not speak about their basic sanitary needs.

These and many other factors led Aileen Hlongoane, a former student at UP who was a volunteer at the Centre for Sexualities, Aids and Gender, to start a non-profit organisation called Pledge a Pad which aims to help the underprivileged. This was after regular visits to orphanages where she realised that most girls missed as many as 60 days of the school year due to a lack of pads. Some girls resorted to using newspapers and rags as an alternative.

In her Mail & Guardian blog, Hlongane says that the organisation is aimed at raising awareness about the female body so that women can know if something is wrong – for example, if a period goes on too long. Rorisang Mongwaketsi, chairperson of the Pledge a Pad organisation at UP, also said, “Pledge a Pad does not only donate pads, we also educate woman about the menstrual cycle and do motivational talks in developing a healthy self-esteem among the women we assist.”

“We go to at least one school and a children’s home every month. As a result we are able to measure our success by the number of girls that no longer have to miss school because of a natural occurrence such as the menstrual cycle. Therefore, the goal of keeping young girls in school is being achieved,” says Mongwaketsi.


Photo: Kirsty Mackay

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