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TUT suspends academic activities at Soshanguve

The university says it decided to suspend all academic activities for the rest of the year after protests.

FILE: Violence erupted last week on the eve of exams, with a group of students outlining several demands related to fees and exclusions. Picture: Andiswa Mkosi/Primedia.

PRETORIA - The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has announced it's suspended academic activities at its Soshanguve campuses for the rest of the year.

The decision comes after a weekend of violence which saw several buildings, including the institution's main exam hall, being set alight.

Violence erupted last week on the eve of exams, with a group of students outlining several demands related to fees and exclusions.

TUT management has asked all students to vacate both Soshanguve campuses by the end of today, warning that it can't accept any liability for the safety of any students who fail to adhere to the request.

On Saturday, demonstrators clashed with security officers late into the night.

At one point, a security van was pushed into the main exam hall and set alight, while several other buildings were significantly damaged.

While students have been ordered to go home, staff are expected to return to work on Wednesday.

KNOCK-ON EFFECT

TUT students at the Soshanguve campus say the decision to suspend academic activities for the rest of the year will have a knock-on effect for their plans next year.

The future hangs in the balance for thousands of students who would have finished the academic year in just a few weeks' time.

These students say their plans for next year have been affected.

"The suspending of exams is just bad because all we want to do is write exams. They are delaying us on what we want to do next year… I'm one of those students who are finishing here. I'm supposed to finish and go do my internship in information technology."

At least three buildings and several cars were torched at the campus last Thursday.