Wits University Investigates Complaints of Protest Intimidation and Property Damage
Wits University is investigating complaints of intimidation of security staff and damage to property during a student protest on Wednesday.
There were reports that protesters had blocked off access to one of the university’s entrances over several issues, such as “financial exclusion”, demanding students with less than R150 000 debt be allowed to register, that fees for Wits residences be waived, and that the university allocate more funds to accommodate homeless students.
Campus Protection Services is carefully examining video footage and other evidence which could result in the suspension or prosecution of alleged perpetrators in line with the university’s regulations.
Wits emphasized that the academic programme will proceed as planned, and simultaneously the Dean of Student Affairs is trying to accommodate some of the protesters’ demands.
Additionally, since last year, the university had committed funding to over 26,000 students, an amount exceeding R1.6 billion.
Meanwhile, security measures have been imposed to control the protest and ensure the safety of students and faculty.
Overall, the university expresses that most of the grievances raised need to be addressed at the national level and have been submitted to universities across South Africa and other platforms.
Despite this incident, it assured that Thursday activities will carry on as normal.