NMMU #FeesMustFall student leadership arrested

Port Elizabeth - Three leaders of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s #FeesMustFall movement were arrested on the main campus on Monday afternoon.

According to students, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, the three - identified as Lizo Jim, Thandeka Tshabalala and Thanduxolo Nkala - were part of a #FeesMustFall strategy meeting in the Embizweni building on South Campus on Monday afternoon.

National police spokesperson, Brigadier Sally de Beer, confirmed the arrests of three individuals, aged 22, 25 and 30.

She said the arrests took place at the university around 14:30 in terms of the Regulations of Gatherings Act.

They would appear in court on Tuesday.

NMMU spokesperson Zandile Mbabela said NMMU was aware of the arrests.

The #FeesMustFall leadership were apparently strategising around what would take place on Tuesday when lectures were set to resume. 

Video footage shows the police entering the meeting dressed in riot gear and singling out Jim, Tshabalala and Nkala and calmly escorting them out of the meeting before instructing the rest of the students to disband immediately as the meeting was unlawful.

It is believed the three will face charges under the regulations of the Gatherings Act of 1993, relating to an illegal march on the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber two weeks ago, as well as relating to the illegal barricading of the main campuses on the 7th of October.

The FeesMustFall movement confirmed the arrests via social media and encouraged students not to go to the Humewood Police Station, as they had been warned that police had been instructed to capture any group that congregated outside the police station.

'They will never arrest the struggle'

The group went on to say that, in light of the arrests, they would be cancelling the planned night vigil.

Members of the FeesMustFall movement condemned the arrests, saying that while the leadership might have been arrested, they would continue the fight.

Simnikiwe Ntingi posted: "They may have arrested the leaders, but they will never arrest the struggle. Qina mfundi."

Mahlatse Sekwati posted: " ’Fed Upist’ are tagging each other and arresting our leadership won't stop us, in fact management is extinguishing fire with petrol..."

SivileBathembu Loza Mayekiso posted: "They are adding fuel to the fire...ASIJIKI!!!"

These threats come after the Xanadu Melody XM Clubhouse was razed to the ground during the early hours of Monday morning.

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