Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor Sizwe Mabizela is to meet with striking students after the institution’s academic programme was suspended on Monday.
University spokesperson Catherine Deiner said on Monday morning Mabizela was “already on his way” to engage with the group, which is believed to be protesting over the “minimum initial payment” – a 50% lump sum of their total tuition.
For a new student staying in residence, the minimum initial payment would be at least R41 000.
The Daily Dispatch reported that a group of about 100 students, some armed with sticks, turned people away from the Eastern Cape campus on Monday morning.
eNCA reported that students had barricaded entrances with burning tyres.
Deiner added that Mabizela would also address the entire student body with a public statement at 11:00.
“This has just been announced to all the students and the VC will be giving an update then on what is going on. That is all we can say at this point,” she said.
On social networking site Facebook, a message was doing the rounds threatening a total shut-down of the campus.
But not all students were supportive, with some complaining that they needed to focus on exams happening in two weeks. One woman said her bedroom window was broken by protesters during the night.
The protests came after Wits University in Johannesburg this weekend suspended an increase in fees pending the outcome of negotiations, after being hit by protests that halted academic work, reported News24.
Also on Monday morning, entrances were barricaded to the University of Cape Town with rocks, benches and dustbins.
The Stellenbosch University SRC said in a statement last week they will protest on Wednesday to oppose the proposed 11.5% fee increase at the institution.
Jeff Wicks, News24
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