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Wednesday, March 3, 2021
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Wits SRC shuts down campus

Staff Reporter

The University of Witwatersrand (Wits) Student Representative Council (SRC) is disrupting lectures in attempts to shut down the campus after the university backed out on an agreement which stipulates that students owing less that R100 000 should be allowed to register.

Wits SRC shared the tweet below on Sunday voicing their frustrations against Wits management.

On Monday students marched into the different buildings and stop lectures, urging students to either go home or join the protest.

In this video, SRC deputy president Nkateko Muloiwa addresses students and explains the SRC’s decision to take this decision.

 

It was also reported that Wits Protection Services and Private Security arrived at the scene as the protest gathered numbers. Just over 150 people are a part of the protest that is now headed towards Wits West Campus.

However, the university said that claims that an agreement had been reached were not true.

“As per the Council-approved concessions for 2019 below, only students who owe the University R10 000 or less will be allowed to roll over their debt and to register this year,” Vice Chancellor Andrew Crouch said in an email to students.

According to the university, students who owed R10 000 or less from 2018 would be able to roll over the debt and register in 2019.

Crouch also states in the email that students would also be required to sign an acknowledgement of debt and make arrangements with the university to pay it off.

Among other concessions which were approved by the council for the 2019 academic year was that students made an upfront payment of R9 340 towards their fees before enrolment, Crouch said in his email.

“NSFAS students are not required to pay upfront,” Crouch wrote.

Wits University spokesperson Shirona Patel said that representatives of the senior executive team were working with the SRC to resolve their concerns.

“The university respects the rights of students to raise their concerns and has created official channels of communication for these matters to be discussed. It is unacceptable for the academic programme to be disrupted,” said Patel.

Patel said campus protection services were currently analysing video footage and were requesting staff and students to come forward to report incidents of intimidation and make statements.

“All incidents will be investigated and action will be taken, including immediate suspensions where appropriate, in line with the university’s rules, policies and procedures,” she said.

Despite the SRC’s planned shutdown, Patel said academic programmes would continue as planned.

Extra reporting by News 24

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