UCT suspends classes following student protests

Protesting students marched through the campus, disrupting classes and forcing other students out of lectures.

UCT students protest on 20 September 2016 against a fee increase. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Classes at the University of Cape Town have been suspended for the rest of today and tomorrow.

#UCT #Fees2017 The protesting group says classes, lessons have been suspended today and tomorrow. LI pic.twitter.com/he69il77kN

A group of protesting UCT students marched through the campus and gathered in the Leslie Social Sciences Building where they've disrupted classes, forcing other students out of lecture halls.

#Fees2017 #UCT Students gathered at Leslie Social Building. LI pic.twitter.com/b054WQpBQE

This has left management with little option but to suspend academic activities.

Protest leaders addressed the crowd, saying they intend on meeting later today to plot the way forward.

Some roads leading to the main campus, which had been closed, have since been reopened to traffic.

#Fees2017 #UCT Campus security removing barricades along Woolsack Drive, Upper Campus. LI pic.twitter.com/uSgeVL5rSp

Students have now dispersed and gone into private meetings.

At the same time, all classes at Stellenbosch University's Tygerberg Campus have been suspended.

The university's Martin Viljoen has described the situation at Stellenbosch University's main campus.

"The situation is also a bit tense with about 30 students protesting on the campus."

The protest action comes after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that it will be up to universities to decide their own fee increases for the 2017 academic year.