Release arrested Rhodes students immediately - EFF

2016-04-20 15:34
Students argue with Rhodes lecturers after police dispersed protesters using teargas and rubber bullets. (Supplied, Zindzi Nkunzi)

Students argue with Rhodes lecturers after police dispersed protesters using teargas and rubber bullets. (Supplied, Zindzi Nkunzi)

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East London - The EFF on Wednesday condemned the police’s response to ongoing protests against campus rape culture at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, calling for the release of five arrested students.

"The police have attacked non-violent and unarmed students with rubber bullets and teargas," EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.

"We call on the police to restrain themselves and also release the arrested students with immediate effect."

According to a statement from Eastern Cape police, five students were arrested and face charges relating to the Gatherings Act.

Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender on Wednesday said police used rubber bullets and stun grenades after the gathering became "aggressive".

Bail was set at R500 each, with students raising money to pay bail for their "comrades", Rhodes student Zindzi Mkunzi told News24 earlier on Wednesday.

Police's response 'shameful'

The EFF also called on the university to host an open assembly to address the issue of sexual assault and rape on the campus, calling the police’s response to these issues "shameful".

"The students are raising a legitimate concern about the failures of our society, in particular the very police, university management and the entire justice system in dealing with rape and rape culture.

"The police, before arresting these protesters, or pulling any trigger to shoot at students, must first ask themselves what they have ever done to make Grahamstown and Rhodes University a safer place against rapists and sexual offenders.

"The police must hang their heads in shame because they have done absolutely nothing, expect to silence students with violence."

The five arrested students are due to appear in the Grahamstown Magistrate's Court later this week.

Read more on:    rhodes university  |  eff  |  east london  |  university protests

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