Release those arrested or arrest us all - student leader

2016-10-20 14:17
(Lerato Sejake, News24

(Lerato Sejake, News24

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WATCH: Police nyalas accompany students to Union Buildings

2016-10-20 12:34

Students have started their march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria to call for free tertiary education, after another day of student protests.WATCH

Johannesburg – Student leader Vusi Mahlangu has called for the release of students who have been arrested during countrywide fee protests.

Mahlangu was speaking during a protest at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday afternoon.  

"Release the 500 students that are in jail or arrest us all," he said addressing a large group of students.

"The third force against the student movement is the government itself. I think the government [is] the one that has a capitalist, racist agenda against these students.

"We want the release of all 500 students now. We are not backing down on our demands for free education and we are not backing down on the demand for full insourcing of all workers in all universities and colleges," he said. 

On Thursday morning, a group of Fees Must Fall protesters marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, calling for free tertiary education after weeks of protests.

The group had gathered at Church Square on Thursday morning, waiting for more students to join them.

'Blade must fall'

Eventually less than 500 people marched along Madiba Street.

The group sang struggle songs and danced as they marched to the Union Buildings. Police were keeping a close watch on the protest.

Protesters held placards, some of which read "Blade must fall" and "Free education for all". Pupils wearing their school uniform had also joined the march. 

Earlier, Tshwane metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said the group had not been granted permission to march and that the march would be considered illegal.

If students marched despite this, a case would be opened.

He would not clarify whether officers would move against the protesters.

"Any operational decision might be taken. We cannot disclose at this stage what decision may be taken, but any operational decision might be taken at that point," Mahamba said.

The march was expected to begin at 08:00, but was delayed as students from other campuses were still being bused into town.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  university fees  |  university protests

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