Police more violent as protests intensify

By Drum Digital
04 October 2016

Student leaders concerned that police altercations with protesting students are becoming more violent.

University of Witwatersrand students woke up to a violent altercation between protesting students and the police on Tuesday morning.

Police threw stun grenades to disperse protesting students near Solomon Mahlangu House. A student leader, Busisiwe Seabe, was also arrested during the altercation.

Meanwhile, eight students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal appeared at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates court this morning. These students were arrested amid the #FeesMustFall protest that have taken place over the last few days, and court proceeding were disrupted by fellow students who attend in support.

These students told the court that they are willing to go to jail so that every black child in the country will get free tertiary education.

Protest action reached an intensified high on Monday during President Jacob Zuma’s Higher Education multi-stakeholder meeting between student leaders, university management and ministers.

During his speech President Zuma said police would continue to be present at universities to stop criminal behaviour and to deal with the violence.

Students who attended the meeting were aggrieved that Zuma left the meeting shortly after his speech and did not fulfil his promise to listen to open dialogue.

Though Zuma left early, students were able to raise their concerns to Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande about the violent nature of the police response to protesting students.

More details on the ongoing protests will follow.

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