Over 70% of Wits University students who took part in an SMS poll to determine whether or not the university should open on Monday, 3rd October, voted to do so.

This is according to the university, which announced the interim results of the poll today.

Wits, along with a few other South African universities, was forced to suspend all activities, due to #FeesMustFall protests which erupted and the ensuing violence which followed shortly after they began.

An SMS with question “Should Wits open on Mon, 3 Oct, subject to appropriate security protocols being in place?”, was sent to over 37 000 students and was open between 7am and 4pm.

“The interim results of the poll indicate that the significant majority of students want the academic programme to resume on Monday,” Wits said.

A total of 21 730 responses were received, 16 739 (77%) of which voted “yes” and 4 991 (23%) voted no.

The results were audited by auditing firm, SizweNtsalubaGobodo.

Wits said it is still waiting for for auditors to verify the online staff poll, conducted on the same day.

The university said the final results of the poll will inform management’s decision-making in paving a way forward.

“Management will also reach out to the student leadership, unions and other stakeholders to engage on a way forward,” it said.

The final announcement about whether or not academic activities will resume on Monday, will be announced this weekend.