Student protests halt lectures at South African universities

Student safety and funding are key concerns for Vaal and UKZN undergraduates

September 23, 2015
Loudhailer

Classes at two South African universities were halted by student demonstrations.

Students at Vaal University of Technology in Vanderbijlpark deserted lectures on 14 September in protest at the rape and murder of two female overseas students – a Zimbabwean and a Nigerian – at a house off-campus.

Troy Mathebula, president of Vaal’s student representative council, told the Mail & Guardian that his members were campaigning for “basic” security to be provided such as CCTV cameras and biometric fingerprint access controls for university premises.

The protest followed the murder of another two female students and the rape of a female student on campus last year. Earlier this year, a male student was murdered just outside the main campus.

The university said that it would act on students’ concerns, with a spokeswoman stating that Vaal was “committed to the safety and security” of staff and students.

In a separate incident at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, lectures were suspended after students burned cars and petrol-bombed an office in protest at student funding changes.

The violence erupted at the institution’s Westville campus on 13 September and spread to other sites in the following days.

Upping of the minimum average mark required for students to qualify for financial support and a planned increase in a registration fee were said to be behind the demonstrations.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns