10 students arrested during UWC protests

2015-11-11 20:14
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - Ten students were arrested on Wednesday while four security guards were injured during violent protests at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said the students were arrested for public violence while paramedics said they were dispatched to treat the four guards who had suffered various injuries.

"At approximately 16:00 paramedics were dispatched to the security area at UWC where they were met by security officials to escort them onto the premises," ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said.

When paramedics arrived on the scene, people were still running around protesting.

They found the four guards with various injuries.

"Two of them were treated for bone fractures," said Vermaak.

"The others were treated for pepper spray exposure, lacerations and a shoulder injury allegedly caused by a brick."

The guards were treated on the scene and then evacuated for further treatment.

Earlier, police had to call for more reinforcements as students continued to protest.

Stun grenades were used to disperse students who throughout the day set property alight, looted a cafeteria and disarmed riot police.

Police warned students to go to their residences for their own safety.

UWC ‘horrified’

UWC said it was "horrified" that it could act in this way in the name of Fees Must Fall.

"The University of the Western Cape condemns the unjustified violence, arson, intimidation of students and staff, vandalism of several buildings on campus, as well as the looting of tuck-shops and catering venues on campus today," spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said in a statement.

He said protesting students attacked non-protesting students and staff. There were also indiscriminate and violent attacks on security and police.

Tyhalibongo also claimed that police were shot at with live ammunition and a security guard was held hostage.

"While the university has publicly supported the campaign for free education and understands the plight of students - particularly with regard to the cost of higher education - resorting to violence is not the answer," he said.

"The fact that this group of protesters resorted to attacking fellow students and staff cannot be condoned in any manner. The safety of our staff and students on campus is paramount."

Tyhalibongo said the university decided to call in the police.

"The university will continue to employ the services of added security - the intimidation and victimisation of staff and students by protesters will not be tolerated."

UWC apologised for the interruption of exams on campus.

The executive management was currently holding urgent discussions on how to proceed so that students could complete the year.

Read more on:    uwc  |  cape town  |  education  |  university fees  |  protests

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