Students started protesting at the University of Fort Hare’s Alice campus ahead of the historic institution’s centenary celebrations on Friday.
Police formed a security cordon around the campus where President Jacob Zuma will deliver the keynote address.
He will be joined by his Zimbabwean counterpart‚ Robert Mugabe‚ who is among the oldest surviving alumni of the university.
“Centenury my ass‚” read a poster held aloft by one of the students.
The university has been plagued by demonstrations and clashes with police as students protest about a lack of financial aid and debt.