Classes set to resume at UP, UFS after protests

The Universities of Pretoria and the Free State are adamant that classes will resume on Monday after a week of violent protests.

The institutions were shut down last week after opposing students clashed, with security intervening and property was damaged.

A meeting late on Sunday between Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, University of Pretoria authorities and student representatives resolved to re-open UP.  

However, the Economic Freedom Fighters representative stormed out of the meeting.

African National Congress Gauteng Secretary Hope Papo, who was at the meeting, says, "We agreed to pledge and commit through our collective support behind the reopening of the university on Monday."

"In fact that's what we wish to happen at the university. And we call on the university management to discharge their duties and responsibility to protect human life and property," says Papo.

Earlier disruptions at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein resulted in the arrest of 20 students.

Some students say the shutdown affected their studies, while others are angry with management.

"I am badly affected by the strike because I had to write two semester tests. I didn't write because of the strike. I think work load is going to pile up," one student said.

"Student activism here at the university has been weak for many years that is due to various reasons however we are strong we are mobilizing ourselves to strengthen our position at the university. Our voice has be bolder our presence has to be stronger and our concerns must be heard," said another student.

UFS SRC President, Lindokuhle Ntuli, says race still remains a major issue at the campus.

He says the university needs to implement a system that will include people of all races and reflect all demographics.



Source:  SABC

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