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Cancelled meeting with Unisa led to Daveyton protests

Unisa and VUT have been sharing the campus since January, raising tensions among the students.

FILE: Vaal University of Technology student gathering at the main gate of the campus during protest on 9 September 2014. Picture: @IamCollenThwala ‏via Twitter.

DAVEYTON - It's emerged that a cancelled visit from University of South Africa (Unisa) representatives led to Monday's violent protests at the institution's Daveyton campus.

Six students from the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) were arrested during the demonstration.

Police say the group threw rocks at the building, vandalised furniture and threatened to torch the library, if Unisa students didn't leave the premises.

The two institutions have been sharing the campus since January, raising tensions among the students.

VUT's Mike Thobani says a meeting was supposed to take place on Monday to discuss outstanding issues, but the Unisa delegation postponed.

"When this was communicated with students they didn't take it very lightly and this escalated the tension," he said.

Thombani says the institution is disturbed by the tension.

"Management regrets this tension and the confrontation."

Last month, management was forced to suspend academic activities due to violent protests regarding financial aid.

The main entrance of the university was blocked and students and lecturers were unable to attend classes.

The Student Representative Council called for the National Students Financial Aid Scheme to receive more money and for Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to address their demands.