Charges against UJ students withdrawn

Charges were withdrawn against 43 University of Johannesburg students who appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for public violence during protests last year, the university said.

“The university requested the prosecutor withdraw the charges against the students following an agreement between management and the student council ... The charges were officially withdrawn,” said spokesperson Sonia Cronje.

The students were arrested following violent protests in October last year. The students protested against an increase in tuition fees, and demanded that the Doornfontein, Soweto, Bunting Road and Kingsway campuses be harmonised.

The Student Representative Council complained that the other institutions were sidelined when compared to the Kinsgway campus—previously the Rand Afrikaans University—before a merger of the institutions.

“Following last year’s protests, discussions were held between members of the UJ management executive committee and the UJ student leadership ...
The student representatives requested that the charges against the arrested students be dropped ... the university undertook to consider their requests based on their future actions and behaviour.”

She said since the agreement, students made constructive contributions to find ways of dealing with financial and other exclusionary challenges.

“The university is pleased about the smooth run of the end-of-year examinations and the 2008 registration process,” Cronje said. - Sapa

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