By Gaby Ndongo
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Auckland Park campus has experienced yet another student protest on Monday 26th September 2016.
This protest is in line with other outcries by students for the fall of tuition fees, the removal of private security guards in campus and an end to the outsourcing of workers just several days after a mass students’ protest at the Wits University in Braamfontein.
In this case, the gathering was scheduled to begin at 12:00 and began just a few minutes before 1pm in front of the library area that is contiguous to the fountain. Leading the protest was the Student Representative Council (SRC) President, Ownabile Lubhelwana, and other political student leaders keen to be heard pound and clear by management but asking the student to conduct a peaceful protest.
A number of students’ political leaders spoke words of encouragement. One advised the student to seek for and obtain free education that will enable adequate higher education and training for all. However, in return, the leader urged passionately for students to give back to their respective communities as a way to improve society as a whole.
Besides, the main aim of the gathering was to mobilise students for protest and the UJ SRC President did just that. From then, a group of students began a courageous walk towards the Student Centre later on turning another direction to reach the lecture halls accommodating lecturers and other fellow students.
The protesting students, furthermore, gained access to the D Laboratory where the research computers are situated after a number of lecture halls were evacuated urging every student present to join them to protest for a free education. Additionally, the students’ resident was also an area of a visit to propagate the need for student unity against the 8% increment, amongst other issues faced by students.
As they continued to march their next target was the Art Centre with the aim to stop any graduation process. Their steps were marked by the singing of freedom songs all energising the students’ protesters.
Gender was no criteria as both male and female student activists held hands to quest for something that both agree with, which is free education for all. As they reached the Art Centre a number of private security forces and police officers were ready to secure the Centre that was in preparation for graduation ceremonies.
Reporting by Gaby Ndongo; Editing by Magnificent Mndebele