Varsity ProTeSt day flops

NOT IMPRESSED: A non-protesting University of Johannesburg student watches demostratios from behind a security gate. Pic. Bafana Mahlangu. 04/03/2010. © Sowetan.
NOT IMPRESSED: A non-protesting University of Johannesburg student watches demostratios from behind a security gate. Pic. Bafana Mahlangu. 04/03/2010. © Sowetan.

THE South African Students Congress' vow to shut down nine universities yesterday failed to materialise , with little disruption to classes despite attempts at the University of Johannesburg to block students from entering the campus.

THE South African Students Congress' vow to shut down nine universities yesterday failed to materialise , with little disruption to classes despite attempts at the University of Johannesburg to block students from entering the campus.

The SA Students Congress (Sasco) on Wednesday said it would shut down operations on campuses countrywide in protest action to demand free education.

Apart from morning protests at UJ, where entrances to the Bunting Road campus were barricaded with stones and burnt items, no serious disruptions were reported at any of the nine tertiary institutions.

"Academic and student activities continued as usual," said UJ registrar professor Marie Muller in a statement.

"This morning, a group of students barricaded the access points to the Bunting road campus."

She said the entry points were cleared and the situation was brought under control at about 2pm.

The police used a water tanker to spray students on several occasions.

Besides UJ incident, students marched at Durban University of Technology, University of Zululand, Walter Sisulu University, Tshwane University of Technology and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

The march at the University of Venda was disrupted by rain.

Tshwane University of Technology spokesperson Gilbert Mokwatedi said lectures continued as normal at all its campuses.

Sasco deputy president Mbali Hlophe said: "Most institutions came out in support of the march.

"We are all for peaceful marching. We must not deviate from the core."

Meanwhile, the Department of Higher Education condemned acts of violence as hundreds of university students are expected to march to Parliament today.

Department spokesperson Ranjeni Munusamy said: "While we are sympathetic to the call for free education, we do not support any violence or disruptions in any way to the academic programme."

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