14 arrested for violating Wits interdict

2016-02-19 17:03
(Mpho Raborife, News24)

(Mpho Raborife, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Police frogmarch two into van near Wits

2016-02-19 15:24

A few people among protesting students were frogmarched into a police van during a demonstration in Johannesburg on Friday, 19 February. Writer Panashe Chigumadzi detailed the arrest as it happened. She published reports of "roller coaster driving" en route to Hillbrow police station. Students had gathered on Empire Road to protest over student accommodation.WATCH

Johannesburg - Fourteen people have been arrested for violating a court interdict that the University of Witwatersrand obtained earlier this year, the institution said on Friday.

Some of the individuals were not students, spokesperson Shirona Patel said.

They were currently being held at the Hillbrow Police Station.

"The safety and security of our staff, students and visitors to the campus is paramount and the university was left with no choice but to have these individuals arrested as they posed a threat to the 33 000 students and 5 000 staff on our campuses," she said.

The group was allegedly involved in criminal activities on campuses, including the occupation of the university's administration building Senate House, attempted arson, malicious damage to property, the alleged burning of a bus, the setting alight of a mattress at the back of a library and the vandalisation of Wits property, Patel said.

Some members of the group could face suspension or be barred from all Wits campuses, she added. This was in line with the university's rules, policies and procedures.

Patel downplayed claims that the university was "criminalising" its protests.

She said the activities that had taken place on campus were criminal, and that Wits had to respond accordingly by increasing the presence of security on campus.

"As a university we cannot tolerate criminal acts on our campuses."

The university had deployed "a strong security contingent" on all campuses and bus routes.

She said this decision had caused the institution to redirect resources away from where they were needed most - in accommodation, food and support for needy students.

A bus was set alight outside the Knockando Halls of Residence in Rockridge Road, Parktown, around 23:00 on Tuesday.

The decision to beef up security was to ensure the safety of staff, students, and property, Patel said.

The bus burning followed a spate of violence at the University of Cape Town and Walter Sisulu University campuses this week, which led to a number of students being arrested for public violence and malicious damage to property.

Read more on:    university of witwatersrand  |  johannesburg  |  education  |  protests

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.