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Wits University confirms protest in Parktown

The group gathered at Oxford Road where they barricaded the street with burning tyres and rocks.

Police pictured at Wits University. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Wits University has confirmed that a group of students are protesting in Parktown this morning, as demonstrations for free education continue.

The group gathered at Oxford Road where they barricaded the street with burning tyres and rocks.

The university is adamant these presents will not disrupt the academic programme.

Spokesperson Shirona Patel says: "There's a group of student protesters outside in Parktown where they are attempting to block roads. The police are on scene and managing the situation."

The university has also confirmed acts of vandalism on its campus at the weekend.

The Matrix Building's windows were smashed yesterday, while three other buildings were set alight on Friday.

Patel says at least five students arrested following these incidents will appear in court today.

COPS ON CAMPUS

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says people should stop likening the presence of police at universities to Marikana.

Maimane was speaking at a DA media briefing at Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia on Sunday.

He says his party will march to Parliament on the day of the midterm budget report, to call for more money to be made available to fund poor students.

But Maimane says the DA does not support the shutting down of universities.

"You know in South Africa we think in binary terms. We think if you send police onto campus, you are calling for a Marikana, nobody is calling for that. South Africa has a history of protests, globally people protest. This is not unique. It doesn't suggest that when police are present they must have escalated levels of violence."