Clergy vow to stand as buffer between cops and students

2016-10-12 12:24
Clergy have supported the Fees Must Fall movement. (News24)

Clergy have supported the Fees Must Fall movement. (News24)

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Johannesburg - The clergy are prepared to be a buffer zone between students and police should the need arise, Bishop Gary Rivas told journalists on Wednesday morning.

Over 40 clergy had already arrived at Wits University's Great Hall in support of the students.

Rivas said more clergy were making their way to the institution.

"We are obviously very concerned with the level of violence that has been taking place in the campuses. We are making a call and asking the police to leave the campus... If the police won't move off and we can't control the elements and the retaliation, the clergy are prepared to stand as a buffer zone between the police and the students," he said.

Rivas told journalists that the clergy had been making calls to the police and private security to leave university campuses, but to no avail.

He said the clergy were prepared for any consequence as a result of their action during student protests.

"The police have been told there is no one who deserves special treatment... A catholic priest was shot.  You heard the Acting (Police) Commissioner (Khomotso Phahlane) say ‘What is so special about a priest?’ The police have clearly given orders that no matter what happens, they shoot or do whatever needs to be done. They don't really care who you are," he said.

A Catholic priest was shot with a rubber bullet during student protests on Monday.

One priest told the media that a bomb search was currently underway at Holy Trinity Church, which is situated near the Wits Campus where student leaders have been meeting.

Currently, a small group of students and police have gathered at Wits University's Great Hall.

Read more on:    wits  |  university fees  |  university protests

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