Wits students pepper sprayed

2015-10-16 19:41
Students scramble over the gate at Wits University. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

Students scramble over the gate at Wits University. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg - The Wits University student protest has turned ugly as students and the Dean of Students were pepper sprayed by campus security while waiting to hear from the university's council on Friday evening.

SRC sub-committee council member, Azra Karim said while students gathered on campus grounds waiting to hear the outcome of the meeting with University council members, she heard screams coming from the opposite end of the campus as students were pepper sprayed by security.

"We did nothing to provoke security," said Karim.

Karim said all the students affected were "relatively okay", except for one who had been sprayed directly in the eye.

"We want to know who authorised this and why they needed to have extra security. This effort to intimidate us will not deter us from our mission," said Karim.

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said the security guards acted independently. She said Vice Chancellor Adam Habib was appalled by the incident. She said he had taken it up with the security.

"Even the Dean of Students Dr Pamela Dube was pepper sprayed. One of the Exco council members asked for additional security to escort him. One of the campus security guards felt threatened and pepper sprayed students. We have asked him to leave and the meeting with the students will go on as planned," said Patel. 

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education  |  university fees  |  protests

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