/ 10 October 2007

Student protest fizzles out at Doornfontein campus

University of Johannesburg’s Doornfontein and Auckland Park Bunting Road campuses remained shut on Wednesday after student protest action at the university this week.

UJ spokesperson Sonja Cronje said there were about 10 to 15 protesters toyi-toying outside the main gates of the Doornfontein campus.

She said it was ”business as usual” at the Kingsway and Soweto campuses.

The university was expecting the situation to return to normal by Thursday, she said.

Cronje said the university’s executive committee remained open to consultation with the protesting students. It had, however, still not received formal documentation or a list of grievances from the protesters.

Cronje said the university’s management was very sympathetic to students who had missed tests or lectures as a result of the protests, and would be making arrangements to assist them in catching up.

Police spokesperson Constable Sefako Xaba said the 38 students arrested during protests would appear in the Jeppe Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on charges of public violence.

During Tuesday’s protest, four people were injured after apparently being shot with rubber bullets by the police.

Xaba said on Tuesday that police were guarding the campus to uphold the interim interdict the university was granted to prevent the disruption of academic activities, damage to the university and the intimidation of students and staff.

Students are protesting against a 14% fees hike proposed by the institution as a means of harmonising staff and academic salaries.

Young Communist League spokesperson Castro Ngobese condemned the arrest of the students.

”Students have every right to defend access to education and this should be protected,” he said. – Sapa