JOHANNESBURG — South African police have fired rubber bullets and set off stun grenades to disperse student protesters on a Johannesburg university campus.

The clash occurred Tuesday at the University of the Witwatersrand, which had announced it was re-opening after closing because of sometimes violent demonstrations for free education.

Adam Habib, the university’s vice-chancellor, had said police and private security guards would be on campus to help “take back our campus” on behalf of staff and students who wanted to return to class.

Protests also continue at the University of Cape Town.

President Jacob Zuma says the protests have caused about $44 million in property damage and threaten to sabotage the country’s higher education system.

The government says it will cover the 2017 fee increases of many students who have limited resources.