Academic programme will continue on Wednesday
- Wits University
Update from the Senior Executive Team (17:00):
The majority of Wits’ academic programmes went ahead, across all campuses today. Wits remains open on Wednesday, 12 October 2016.
Students were stoning cars outside the Wits Management Campus this morning and they tried to block the entrance with rocks. The police acted and one person was apprehended.
A group of students who tried to disrupt lectures on the Wits Education Campus were escorted off the campus by security.
Windows were smashed at the John Moffat Building, the Wartenweiler Library and the Matrix Student Centre. Students broke the amphitheatre steps and walls of the building and some of them threw it at security officials.
Confrontations between police and students took place outside the Wartenweiler Library and the Great Hall during the lunch hour. The police used water cannons, stun guns, rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the crowd of a few hundred people.
A suspicious parcel was also found this afternoon in the FNB Building and all students and staff were evacuated. Police with sniffer dogs were called to the scene and they determined that it was a firecracker. The building has been cleared for use and has been reopened. We are reviewing camera footage to try to track down the person who left the package in the building.
The University continues to reach out to students and student leaders in order to find a way forward. We are also in ongoing discussions with mediators.
We apologise to all students and staff who are affected by these events. We thank you for your commitment and loyalty to the University during these difficult times.
We would like this cycle of violence to stop immediately so that the community is not exposed to ongoing trauma. It is possible and in all our hands to restore normalcy, to complete the academic programme and to advocate for free, quality, fully funded, decolonised higher education.