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Rhodes shuts down as students blockade entrances

Picture Credit: stoogle.co.za
Picture Credit: stoogle.co.za

There has been a total academic shutdown at Rhodes as students protest.

A group of about 100 students‚ some armed with sticks‚ even turned away people wanting to work out at the Rhodes gym early on Monday morning.

Academic and other activities were suspended at Rhodes University on Monday after hundreds of protesting students blocked every entry road and entrance to the university from the crack of dawn.

Students are protesting minimum initial fee payments‚ fee increases and generally high university fees.

Vice-chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela said in a circular to university staff that management was aware of the blockading of entrances to campus and protest action at residences and he said it had been decided to suspend all academic activities planned for today.

On its Facebook page‚ the Rhodes Student Representative Council called on all students to join in the protest as high fees affected everyone.

The Rhodes closure follows protests which brough activity to a standstill at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) last week.

The Wits Council‚ which met for several hours on Sunday to discuss its response to the agreement signed between its exco and student representatives on Saturday morning‚ said it would report to the students and their representatives at noon on Monday.

It said the university will officially be closed on Monday‚ but that academic activities are expected to resume as usual on Tuesday.

Classes at the university had to be suspended several times last week due to protests by students against a proposed 10.5% fee hike.

However‚ after an all-night meeting‚ the university announced on Saturday morning that it was suspending the fee hike until an agreement was reached in the negotiations‚ which would start anew.

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