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Case against UJ protesters withdrawn

141 people were arrested outside the Kingsway campus on Friday for contravening a court order.

Students, parents and workers from the University of Johannesburg gather outside the court singing and dancing as they wait for missing dockets to be found, which will allow for court proceedings to eventually start on 9 November 2015. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The case against a group of protesting students and workers from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has just been withdrawn pending further investigations.

One hundred and forty-one people were arrested outside the Kingsway campus on Friday for contravening a court order.

They were calling on management to stop outsourcing services at the university.

It took several hours for the docket at Brixton police station to arrive at court then senior prosecutors held a meeting before deciding to withdraw he charges against the students and workers.

Dozens of protesters who have gathered outside the court cheered when their lawyers delivered the news, saying they are innocent and are simply fighting for the workers' rights.

Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

They say this is not over until the vice chancellor addresses them about the way forward.

LISTEN: Is it time to stop student protests?

Students from both UJ and Wits joined workers who are demanding an immediate halt to outsourcing at the university.

The university has since signed an agreement with workers union, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union, committing to insourcing at the institution.

Earlier today, UJ's Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Services Mpho Letlape, said, "We have signed an agreement with Nehawu that the insourcing is going to happen. What we're working on is the process of the insourcing, the time period and the insourcing plan. The decision phase is done. We are working on the transition plan on how we are going to do the insourcing."

While students and workers celebrate that charges against them have been withdrawn, police have used stun grenades to disperse a crowd who gathered at the University of Johannesburg.

Just a few hours after receiving news that charges against workers and students had been withdrawn, a large group started marching towards UJ's Kingsway campus.

It appears they want to continue with their protest against outsourcing.

One student says while it's a victory that charges have been withdrawn, the fight isn't over.

"We are just fighting for our rights, we want what is ours; and there's nothing else that we want. The vice chancellor must stop being arrogant, come address us and sort out our issues. That is the only thing we want."

There's a heavy police presence at the university.

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