Lectures disrupted at Wits

Workers & some students are disrupting classes on the first day back after the #FeesMustFall protests.

Workers and students have disrupted a second year mining engineering lecture and forced them to leave the class on 28 October 2015. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Workers and a few students at Wits University are disrupting classes at the Braamfontein Campus on the first day of resumed academic activity by calling on all students to support workers' struggles.

But there are only a small number of students.

Most of the protesters are workers hired by external companies.

They're not happy with the intervention agreed to by university management, and the small group say they want Wits to remain closed.

At the moment, the group have disrupted second year mining engineering lectures as well as a first year biology and physics lecture.

They have also disrupted accounting and business lectures at the institution.

They're basically going into lecture rooms and forcing lecturers to leave the classes by singing and hitting their sticks on the desks.

#WitsProtest Workers & students have disrupted a 2nd year mining engineering lecture. Students have now left class. pic.twitter.com/b6HKityuyD

They're also telling other students to join their protest or to go home.

They say those who have chosen to go back to class are sellouts.

Protesters say they want the institution to be closed until the outsourcing matter is put to rest.

They're not happy with the interventions proposed by Vice-Chancellor Adam Habib, who said they would look into the financial viability of hiring the workers permanently.

WATCH: UCT students protest over outsourcing

The group was at one of the workers' entrances, where they tried to make sure that no one entered into the institution.

Another small group are blocking off another entrance on the opposite side of the campus to ensure that no students enter.

A short while ago however, university management addressed some of the protesters and they have now agreed to move their demonstration away from the lecture halls.

WATCH: The day fees 'fell'


Wits University this morning confirmed that a number of fires were started on its Braamfontein Campus overnight, with at least two vehicles torched and an attempt to set alight a bookshop in the student centre.

#WitsFeesMustFall Extra security at Wits entrance and evidence of an extinguished fire outside Senate house. GW pic.twitter.com/bvCiHCfbBj

The institution says it's studying surveillance footage to determine who's behind the arson and says it's too early to say if it's linked to a group of students who want the protests over fees to continue.

Charred remains of books and tyres are scattered across the campus.

Spokesperson Shirona Patel says the fires were started with tyres being burnt at different parts of the campus.

"There was one outside the law library, but fortunately our sprinklers extinguished that one. We had a tyre burning outside a bookshop in the student centre. Some of the books were taken out and they tried to burn those. But fortunately we got to it in time."