Police fire stun grenades, rubber bullets at protesting Wits students

2016-09-21 18:09
Protesting students negotiate with police officers. (Tshidi Madia, News24)

Protesting students negotiate with police officers. (Tshidi Madia, News24)

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WATCH: Bullets, stun grenade fired at Wits students

2016-09-21 15:34

Police clashed with Wits students in Braamfontein, Joburg during fees must fall protest.WATCH

Johannesburg - Police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse a group of rock-throwing University of the Witwatersrand students on the streets of Braamfontein on Wednesday afternoon. 

Following a mass meeting earlier, students ventured into the streets in an attempt to lobby people to join their protest against fees. They were however turned back by police.

Though some obliged, most refused to get back into campus.

Those who had gathered to sing outside the art theatre entrance edged towards police, crossing a barrier line which had been set up.

Police then fired three stun grenades which led to students retaliating by throwing rocks at the officers.

An exchange of rubber bullets and more rocks followed.

Paramedics called in 

More stun grenades were set off but eventually two student leaders emerged to call for a ceasefire, requesting that police back off so the injured can be treated.

There has been no confirmation as to how many have been hurt, however paramedics have made their way into the institution.

Protesting students and security guards threw rocks and chunks of concrete at each other on the steps of the university's Great Hall on Tuesday. Several windows and glass doors were damaged in the exchange while some students also kicked in windows and broke down wooden doors. 

Several universities around the country have suspended activities after higher education Minister Blade Nzimande announced a recommended fee increase capped at 8%.

Nzimande also announced that poor students and students whose families earned less than R600 000 a year would not have their fees increased for the second year running.

Students falling outside these categories would have to wait to see what increase individual universities decided on.

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

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