FET college strike: Arrested students released on warning

2012-10-13 00:00

STUDENTS from FET campuses in Pietermaritzburg made a brief court appearance yesterday for participating in illegal gatherings and causing malicious damage to property.

The group of 20 was released on warning.

The packed court was told by state prosecutor Mariam Abubakar that the chairperson of the college council, B. Ntuli, asked that the students be released on warning as they write exams on Monday.

She asked for a long adjournment to allow students to finish their exams while the investigation continues.

One student who attended the court proceedings had his camera confiscated by a police officer.

Bongani Ngcobo was filming a gathering of students outside court near the library yesterday when his camera was taken.

“The officer said I was not allowed to film him in uniform, but I was taking a general video of the gathering,” said Ngcobo.

The police officer said he could claim his camera back from Pietermaritzburg (Loop Street) Police station.

When Weekend Witness visited the station, the officer sent the reporter to her seniors, who released the camera, but said Ngcobo was lucky to get his camera back as some officers would have destroyed it because it is illegal to film or take pictures of police in full uniform.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane denied this, saying during a march everyone can take pictures.

All 20 students applied for legal aid representatives and will be back in court on November 29.

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