Max Price 'punched' at meeting with students

Cape Town - UCT vice chancellor Max Price was punched during a meeting on campus with students, the university alleged on Friday.

And further afield Wits University in Johannesburg has introduced a curfew with the right to conduct spot searches as pockets of protests continue on the campuses.

At the University of Cape Town, Price and two members of the university's executive were meeting with a group of protesters outside the Bremner Building on lower campus when the altercation took place.

This was after the court appearance of activist Masixole Mlandu at the Wynberg Magistrate's Court.

When Price tried to leave for another meeting some people surrounded him and started pushing and pulling him, the university alleged.

"Dr Price attempted to walk away when he received two punches to the body," the university said.

"A colleague attempted to protect the vice chancellor. Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) stepped into the group to escort Dr Price away. Unfortunately, the scuffles and pushing escalated and police officers used stun grenades to disperse the group."

Soccer match disrupted

In a video posted by Eye Witness News, Price is seen in the centre of an animated group, surrounded by police, photographers and unidentified people.

The police surrounded Price as he spoke to some of the people in the group, and people at the back started pushing towards him. He turned to move away and police were seen pushing those trying to get closer to Price.

A series of bangs rang out and students started screaming.

UCT said the group allegedly then went to disrupt a soccer match.

Cape Town police said a national police spokesperson had been tasked to answer any questions about the student protests, bypassing the usual communication line between local media and police to verify information. 

Brigadier Sally de Beer confirmed that there had been an alleged altercation and police fired two stun grenades.

Bins were also set alight. Nobody was arrested.

Meanwhile Wits has put its foot down, setting strict curfews and access rules.

As of Friday these are the rules at Wits, according to a statement it released:

1. All University buildings, facilities, libraries and reading rooms other than student residences and staff accommodation will be closed between 21:30 and 06:00;
2. People who have not been assigned accommodation within university precincts will not be granted access to the university after 22:00. This restriction on access will remain in effect until 06:00.
3. Only people who are authorised to occupy university facilities and those who are on official university business may be in the university precincts after 22:00.  
4. All persons who are authorised to be on campus after 22:00 must remain in the specific authorised area until 06:00.  
5. Any other persons who must of necessity be on campus must first apply to the registrar or her nominee for written permission via Carol.Crosley@wits.ac.za. Written permission will be granted only for compelling reasons. Failure to abide by the above restrictions may constitute misconduct. 

Emergencies can be reported to campus control on 011 717 4444, who can arrange for contact with the registrar if required.       
 
A full security and police presence will be on all campuses and all vehicles, buses and bags may be searched.

This set off the Twitter hashtag #HabibsApartheid.





The university added that some students unsuccessfully tried to get an interdict to stop the university from resuming classes in an application to the High Court in Johannesburg on Friday.
 
Since September 19 student protests have raged at universities across the countries. The protesting students want free decolonised education. Student bodies at individual universities have made other demands such as withdrawing the suspension of certain students. Talks to resolve the crisis continue.

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