UJ protesters shut down road outside court

2015-11-09 12:35
Some of the UJ protesters. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

Some of the UJ protesters. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg - Protesting students and workers burnt herbs in the street outside the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday morning to communicate with their ancestors.

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Protesters also turned cars away, practically shutting down Ntemi Piliso Street ahead of the court appearance of dozens of students and workers who were arrested on Friday for violating a court order not allowing them to protest at the University of Johannesburg campus.

The protesters held up banners, refused to let cars through and burnt "Impepho", an indigenous African plant that is burnt in order to communicate with ancestors.

Around 141 UJ and Wits university workers and students were arrested on Friday afternoon during an illegal protest outside UJ's Kingsway campus.

Police spokesperson Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng told News24 the group faced charges of public violence and contravening a court order.

One of the students who spoke to News24 said they would later move to UJ's Kingsway campus to continue their protests.

"We are here to stay strong and fight for our rights. We don't have space to protest, that is why we have closed the road. It's the only way we can protest," a UJ cleaner, who did not want to be named, told News24.

Inside, courtrooms were packed to capacity by protesting workers and students waiting to hear their fate.

Protesters donned T-shirts which read #feesmustfall #handoffourstudents and #endoutsourcing.

Lawyers representing students and workers told protesters they were going to fight the suspension and dismissal of all those involved in the protest. They said they would also negotiate with the two universities to have all those students who missed exams due to their arrest be allowed a re-write them.

Read more on:    university of johannesburg  |  johannesburg  |  protests  |  education  |  university fees

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