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Eight students suspended, 11 arrested

- Wits University

Update from the Senior Executive Team (10:00):

Academic programme 

We have been alerted to some disruptions at the Wits Science Stadium this morning where classes with almost full attendance were running this morning. Some physics and maths classes were disturbed by small groups while a group of about 30 students were singing outside. Security and police were present and lectures have resumed. 

Another small group entered the Matrix Student Centre trying to close down shops. This has been resolved. 

Response to last night's violence on our campuses 

We view the events of last night as a full attack on the University's infrastructure and property. Following a meeting of some students at Solomon House last night, about 20 - 30 protesting students spread out through the Braamfontein campuses. 

A fire was started on the West Campus lawn near the DJ Du Plessis Building. This was put out quickly by security. Stones were then thrown at the buildings on West Campus including the Zesty Lemon restaurant. 

Fires were then started in garbage bins near the Matrix, the old Grand Stand in the Science Stadium, the Old Mutual Sports Hall and the Speech and Hearing Clinic. These were all extinguished quickly. 

Police vehicles and fire engines were stoned when they drove onto campus. One Wits Security Officer was injured after a rock was thrown at him. He was taken to Milpark Hospital where he received seven stitches. He is recovering now. 

Management is deliberating on measures to put in place to ensure that these criminal offences do not recur. The measures will be announced later today. 

Suspensions and arrests 

Eight students have been suspended by the University this week and 11 have been arrested.