Wits protests: Students intimidated, pulled out of classes
It’s not exactly clear who started a fire inside a lecture hall at the Umthombo Building this afternoon.
JOHANNESBURG - As Wits University hikes security on campuses, some students have described being intimidated and pulled out of classes by a small group of demonstrators.
A lecture hall at the Umthombo Building at the institution was set alight earlier today allegedly by students who have been protesting over fees.
Classes were disrupted by dozens of students who say they have been excluded because they haven't paid their fees.
One Wits student says the disruptions are affecting his academic program.
"We were having our lectures, people just came in and started threatening us. When we thought everything was over, we went on with our lectures and then they started pulling people out of labs. These people have to be in the labs in order to get the marks and pass the year."
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At the same time, university management says campus security is examining CCTV footage to establish who exactly set fire to seats inside a lecture hall which caused extensive damage.
The university's Shirona Patel says they are taking the issue very seriously.
"It is a criminal act and we will take the individuals who are responsible for this criminal act to task."
Patel says security and police are still on standby in and around the campus.
"We have strengthened security and secured all lecture venues, entrances and exits points."
It's understood four seats inside the lecture hall were set alight, with the fire then spreading.
No one was injured.