Protesting students at the University of Witswaterstrand (Wits) continued to demonstrate on Monday morning amid a heavy presence of police and private security.
The students were allowed to enter the institution’s Braamfontein main campus.
Police vans with water canons were positioned on the ready. Police also had dog as they monitored the protesting students who are demanding the closure of the university as part of their campaign for free education.
The students had gathered outside Solomon Mahlangu House, vowing to continue with the protest and not allowing lectures to resume.
Incoming Wits SRC president, Kefentse Mkhari, said the fight for free education was “a cause they are prepared to die for”.
This comes after the university resolved to open on Monday after classes were disrupted for about two weeks following the #FeesMustFall protest for free education.
“The Council of the University of the Witwatersrand agreed that the University will reopen on Monday, 10 October 2016, to ensure the continuation of the learning, teaching, research and administrative activities of the University, and the successful completion of each individual student’s academic year,” Wits said in a statement over the weekend.
On Friday, the university postponed a general assembly which was scheduled to resolve the impasse between management and protesting students.
The university has also agreed on a revised academic calendar for the year. Students were allowed to demonstrate on the campus’ library lawns.
Other public universities across the country have also suspended their academic programmes as a precautionary measure to curb the violence that has characterised the #FeesMustFall campaign.
According to the Department of Higher Education, destruction of university properties this year was estimated at more that R600 million.
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