Police use stun grenades to disperse protesting Wits students

Earlier, 31 people were arrested for allegedly preventing cars from entering the Braamfontein campus.

FILE: Students shut down the Wits campus with some also vandalising university property. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale

JOHANENSBURG - Police have used stun grenades to disperse protesting students who have been blocking roads around Wits University.

Earlier, 31 people were arrested for allegedly preventing cars from entering the Braamfontein campus.

The protest started yesterday, after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that his department has capped the 2017 fee increment at eight percent.

He also said government would find the resources to ensure financial aid and the so-called "missing middle" students continue to pay 2015 rates

This morning, Nzimande has reiterated that there's no money available to cover the shortfall of another zero percent increase at the country's universities.

He also says he believes there's no basis for university protests.

"I'm very disturbed about this because I'm of the view, frankly that, as much as students have the right, there's no basis for this protest here. Because you know the interventions we're making are going to benefit 75% of the total undergraduate university population."

There have been chaotic scenes at Wits University, with students regrouping and trying to make their way into the campus.

Earlier, they blocked Empire and Jan Smuts Road, forcing police to fire stun grenades to disperse them.

The police's Lungelo Dlamini has warned that officers will act if students break the law.

"We respond to any illegal activity, if any, by the students. We've got enough members to respond to any situation."

Students are adamant they want Wits to shut its doors.