Heavy police presence at Maties as student protests continue

Dozens of protesters are singing & dancing while blocking Victoria Street, the main access road to campus.

FILE: Stellenbosch University students during the Fees Must fall protests. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - There's a strong police and security presence on Stellenbosch University's campus this afternoon.

Dozens of protesters are singing and dancing while blocking Victoria Street, the main access road to campus.

The group has been moving around campus since early this morning disrupting lectures and setting off fire alarms at residences.

A private security company has guards dotted around the Maties campus.

Students call them 'the men in black' and today they are dressed in full riot gear with shields and helmets.

They are standing alongside South African Police Service (Saps) officers who are keeping a watchful eye on a small group that's toyi-toying.

The group has disrupted several classes and some rubbish bins have been overturned.

Some students say they don't want their studies to be disrupted as exams are fast approaching.

"I don't like the disruption of other people's right to an education, because I want to graduate this year."

One of the private security officers has just radioed for a minimum of 40 security personnel to be brought to the Wilcox Building.

The university suspects non-students and some workers are also participating in protests on campus.

Management has confirmed lectures at its Law and Economic Management Science Faculties have been cancelled for the day due to disruptions.

University spokesperson Martin Viljoen says, "Police are on campus, some buildings were temporary closed and classes suspended for the day. But other academic activities have not been disrupted and staff are continuing with their work."