Criminals have infiltrated student protests - police

2016-10-06 21:01
Police attempt to arrest activist Mcebo Dlamini on the Wits campus during this week’s protests. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Police attempt to arrest activist Mcebo Dlamini on the Wits campus during this week’s protests. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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Pretoria - Criminals claiming to be part of student protests and who want another Marikana will be sorely disappointed, acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane said on Thursday.

Some protesters seemed intent on provoking police to the point that there were fatalities, he said at a briefing on protests to demand free higher education.

Thirty-four miners were killed when police opened fire on striking workers at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, on August 16, 2012.

“We will continue to disappoint them," he said.

Police had credible information that criminals had infiltrated student protests. He described them as “forces with agendas”.

Investigations into arson and violence during protests were at an advanced stage.

Since February, 300 people had been arrested during protests on campuses, he said.

Phahlane apologised to journalists for any intolerance police had shown them. He wished all those injured a speedy recovery.

Police found 12 petrol bombs and two litres of petrol in a garage at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Pietermaritzburg campus on Thursday, he said.

He warned students against violence when universities planned to reopen. The University of the Witwatersrand intended to reopen on Monday.

Senior police officers had held talks with vice chancellors and agreed that SAPS would work together with private security guards.

Read more on:    police  |  khomotso phahlane  |  university fees  |  university protests

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