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Classes resume at Wits tomorrow

- Wits University

Talks to reach a negotiated settlement with protesting students ongoing.

Dear Colleagues / Students

Thank you for bearing with us today, a very difficult day for the University. Thank you to those who worked, attended lectures and supported us this week. We were partially successful today and the academic programme will reopen again tomorrow.

We are currently involved in talks via former SRC presidents and the clergy in an attempt to reach a negotiated settlement with protesting students.

The academic programme started this morning but was disrupted around mid-morning by a group of 500 students. While the police managed to disband groups of protesters early this morning, they could not do so when the group became too large.

We understand that there was a major breach where a gate was brought down near the Roman Catholic Church on the East Campus through which students and others entered the campus.

The police tried to disperse the crowd and this resulted in several clashes between the police, private security and students. Unfortunately, several students, one staff member and five policemen were injured and treated by the Campus Health and Wellness Centre. One lecturer was taken to hospital and has been treated.

We know that some buildings, particularly on the West Campus were not protected when they should have been and that the windows of several cars were damaged. We are reviewing camera footage and will ensure that we hold those responsible for the damage accountable.

There are also reports of students not being allowed to leave residences and threats of disruption of buses travelling to clinical sites – these matters were resolved.

We know that the majority of students and staff want classes to continue and it is for this reason that we will once again resume the academic programme tomorrow.

Thank you


4 OCTOBER 2016 (18:00)