Students heed shutdown call, block entrances to UJ, NMU

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) announced a nationwide shutdown on Sunday.

Student protesters block an intersection off University Road & Kingsway Avenue in Auckland Park on 15 March 2021. Picture: @JoburgMPD/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Protesting students at the University of Johannesburg’s Kingsway Campus have blocked off an area in Auckland Park, demanding that historic debt be abandoned.

They also want universities to reduce their fees.

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) announced a nationwide shutdown on Sunday.

The national shutdown of universities appeared to be gaining momentum here in Johannesburg.

Earlier the situation was quiet but now students have come out in their numbers and have blocked a main intersection near the campus square opposite the university's main entrance.

As a result, motorists were forced to make a U-turn and find alternative routes to their destinations.

NELSON MANDELA UNIVERSITY BLOCKADE

A group of students at Nelson Mandela University on Monday also heeded the call to universities from the South African Union of Students (SAUS) of a shutdown.

Protesting students blocked off the entrances to the university's north and south entrances earlier today.

NMU SRC president Thembalethu Nykilana: "What's currently happening is that I'm in a senior meeting with the management of the university in exactly what I've said earlier on trying to find a solution to what we can proactively do as a university to assist the situation with the full understanding, of course, that the bulk of thee challenges are challenges that are at the desk of national government."

In an advisory uploaded on the Nelson Mandela University's website, it said that it was aware of the call for a national shutdown of the higher education sector until such time as the demands of the South African Union of Students were met.

It said that with the entrances to both north and south campuses blockaded earlier and students having already been advised not to come onto campus by their lecturers, staff were advised to consult directly with their line managers on the way forward.

The institution said that it trusted that the many challenges raised by the students would be urgently addressed and resolved to enable the university to start the academic year for all its students.

WATER CANNONS

In Braamfontein, police clashed with a handful of students who were protesting and turning over dust bins.

Police were forced to use a water cannon to disperse angry students who had now gathered outside the university’s Rosebank office entrance.

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