Maties students vowed to support UWC protesting students

On Friday, police fired rubber bullets at UWC students attempting to march to Cape Town International Airport.

Students are saying one of the protesting students have been knocked by a car. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Stellenbosch University students have vowed to support students at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) who are expected to continue protesting today.

On Friday, police fired rubber bullets at UWC students attempting to march to Cape Town International Airport.

At Stellenbosch University, two students were detained for protesting but they were released within an hour.

They told EWN they went there to stage a sit-in on the road leading to the airport to get the government to address their demands.

Open Stellenbosch's Simone Cupido says they are done protesting for now as they have reached an agreement with university management.

Vice-chancellor Wim de Villiers has signed an agreement with student leaders, agreeing to several of their demands, including dropping a court interdict against student protests.

However Cupido says they are ready to join UWC students in protest.

"It depends completely on what the situation with UWC is because they're currently in a very volatile situation and we're ready to help them as much as we can."

Cupido adds they are hoping management sticks to promises made amid protests.

Meanwhile, one of the leaders at UWC, Lindokuhle Mandyoli said they accept the president's declaration but adds it's no victory.

"For us the time to decide when we have the momentum that we have, what can we do to get the attention that we want. Question of education must be responded to by the state."

In the meantime, exams meant to start on Monday have been postponed for a week.

Vice-chancellor Tyrone Pretorius also told students the institution is in the process of addressing some of their concerns.

President Jacob Zuma's main announcement was the zero percent fee increase but he says government will be investigating a host of other concerns raised at the meeting.

"This include free education, institutional autonomy, racism and accommodation and what the students call black debt, to mention a few."

The president said a task team will be responsible for looking into these matters.

While Zuma made the announcement to the nation via a live broadcast, the students clashed with the police before their leaders could announce the outcome of the meeting.

Running battles broke out between protesters and police in the streets around the Union Buildings following the mass march against university fee hikes.