I can still picture the anger in their eyes when they shot me - Wits student leader

2016-11-05 12:32
Shaeera Kalla (Image via Twitter)

Shaeera Kalla (Image via Twitter)

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Johannesburg - Former University of the Witwatersrand SRC leader Shaeera Kalla has recounted the moment she was shot at close range during the fees must fall protest in October.

“When I think about the moment that this happened, I can still picture the anger in their eyes [police], the hatred you could almost taste it,” she said during a call for action against police brutality at the Constitutional hill women's prison in Johannesburg, on Friday evening.   

At the time, protesters had their hands in the air and were negotiating with police not to shoot.

“I turned around to check what was going on behind me and suddenly I saw what we have become to know as a stun grenade,” she said.

Kalla wept and said a second later the stun grenade exploded and she could only feel numb before feeling the physical pain.

She was treated at the Wits health clinic. Student leader Busisiwe Seabe fainted at the clinic. She appeared to be short of breath.

“I still don’t view the police as my enemy and I don’t think any of us should view the police as our enemies. What drives grown man to shoot at their children? The police are victims of this violent system. We are fighting this system for them and their children.

“Twenty-two years into democracy, young people are still being neglected. Fees must fall is the sharpest and sincerest reminder that if we don’t share the country’s wealth, we will share in its destruction,” said Kalla.

“All we ever wanted was to change the reality that being intelligent is not good enough if you are poor and if you are black."

Xola Nohaji-Mkoka, a medical student said since the protests, they helped to treat more than 400 students who had being injured during the a standoff with police.

Campuses across the country came to a standstill shortly after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande revealed in a highly-anticipated announcement on September 19, that universities could determine their own fee increases for 2017, as long as they did not exceed 8%.

The poor and “missing middle” would not have to pay the increase.

This applied to about 70% of all undergraduates across the country, a R2bn shortfall that government had planned for.

Students were not impressed and took to the streets, shut down campuses and vandalised property to demand free tertiary education.

Violence broke out at some Universities in the country. A number of students were arrested during clashes with police and security guards.

Read more on:    univeristy protests  |  univeristy fees

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