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Wits to announce poll results today

Students and staff who were asked to vote if they want academic activities to resume at the university.

Students arrive at the great hall for a meeting. Picture Clement Manyathela/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Wits University says it will make an announcement on the outcomes of a poll it conducted about whether the institution should reopen next Monday.

Yesterday, SMSes were sent to students and staff who were asked to vote if they want academic activities to resume on campus if adequate security is provided.

Vice-chancellor Adam Habib says at least ten institutions have been closed nationwide in the wake of demonstrations and violent clashes between students, campus security and police during the last week.

The university says most students received the poll, except for some whose phones were switched off or their details had not been updated on the system.

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel says they will announce the results around midday today.

"Given that we didn't do a sample, we did the entire student body, we've got enough responses we believe and we've pulled in enough people for it to be credible."

But the Wits SRC's Fasiha Hassan says contrary to what vice-chancellor Habib has said, they are willing to engage as students.

"What we're calling for is the university assembly, which all stakeholders of the Wits community, students, academics, workers, management, etc. all coming to one space and discuss these pertinent issues."

Academics at the institution are also expected to demonstrate in support of students at the Great Hall stairs at noon today.