Fort Hare centenary celebrations to go ahead despite overnight protests

About 400 officers & tactical response teams from surrounding towns have been deployed for the event.

Saps Public Order Police stand watch near the male residences where violence was heaviest at Fort Hare. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The much anticipated centenary celebrations at Fort Hare University are expected to go ahead despite threats from some students of disruptions.

About 400 officers and tactical response teams from surrounding towns have been deployed for the event later today.



Robert Sobukwe and Nelson Mandela are among the respected alumni of Fort Hare who will be honoured at today's event.

But the historic celebrations come amid violent protests over the university's handling of issues related to student debt and financial aid.

WATCH: Centenary eve conflict at the University of Fort Hare

Organisers are putting the final touches to the event, to be staged at the institution's Sports Complex on the main campus where around 2,500 delegates will gather.



Traffic officials line the main entrance to vet arriving motorists, while police sniffer dogs scour the venue.

Despite sporadic clashes between protesting students and police, officials are confident the celebrations will go ahead as planned.

Students are demonstrating over what they say is management's failure to deal with their grievances, which relate to student debt and financing.

A second night of demonstrations resulted in police having to use stun grenades and teargas after they were pelted with projectiles during running battles.

Some students have threatened to disrupt the centenary celebrations today.

Several students who were arrested on Wednesday night have been denied bail.

President Jacob Zuma and his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe are among some of the dignitaries expected at today's event.