Cosas ‘sorry’ for bad behaviour during Joburg protest

2014-08-04 18:28

The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) has apologised to hawkers for behaviour during a march in Johannesburg central. Four pupils were injured during the protest.

“Yes, we are apologising to hawkers,” Cosas president Collen Malatji said today, without giving details.

The provincial education department said Cosas met education MEC Panyaza Lesufi this morning to make the apology.

“In a meeting convened by the Gauteng MEC for education ... Cosas ... apologised unreservedly for the manner in which some learners who participated in the march behaved, particularly towards hawkers,” department spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane said.

Malatji clarified this, saying that Cosas did not apologise to Lesufi but to the hawkers.

On Wednesday, pupils from different schools in Gauteng marched from Park Station to the education department building on Albertina Sisulu Street. The pupils, who were led by Cosas, moved on to the Gauteng legislature before returning to Park Station.

They handed over a memorandum of demands to Lesufi.

The demands included an end to corporal punishment, a ban on application fees for placement at tertiary institutions, proper food in feeding schemes, and an end to the nondelivery of textbooks and other learning materials.

Some protesters looted shops and picked up hawkers’ stands and threw them to the ground.

Four pupils were taken to hospital after being attacked by shop owners for looting.

No permission had been granted for the protest, metro police said at the time.

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