16 TUT students arrested for 'public violence'

2015-11-17 22:12
(File: News24)

(File: News24)

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Johannesburg - Sixteen Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) students have been arrested and will most likely spend the night behind bars, a student leader told News24 on Tuesday.

"They were singing and dancing, waiting for other students. Police came and shot them with rubber bullets and those who failed to run were arrested," said the student leader who identified himself as Sdu.

Sdu said students had gone to the local police station to demand the release of other students but things had turned violent with police threatening to shoot them.

He said many students were injured when police and the task team of the institution's security company opened fire on protesting students.

Warrant Officer Matthews Nkoadi said the 16 students who were arrested were charged with public violence.

"They will appear in the Soshanguve Magistrate's Court tomorrow [Wednesday]," Nkoadi said.  

Despite the violent protests, university spokesperson, Willa de Ruyter said exams were scheduled to start at TUT campuses on Wednesday. 

"There have been ongoing engagements with the student leaders and we have signed a memorandum of understanding. Exams will start tomorrow [Wednesday]. 

"There is also a court order from October 29 which prohibits the disruption of any academic activities and it will be enforced. There will be increased security at all exam venues to ensure that everything goes well," she said. 

But Sdu said he had his doubts that the exams would proceed as students were demanding the release of their fellow students. 

He also added that the main TUT Soshanguve hall, Gencor, where hundreds of students were scheduled to write their exams, had been vandalised.

The information centre and other offices where student time tables were usually printed were also non-functional. 

Asked what the students demands were, Sdu said students wanted a scrapping of their existing university debt. 

"Students will be writing exams but at the end of the day, they won't be able to see their results because you can't get them until you have paid," said Sdu.

He said they were hopeful that other campuses would boycott the exams on Wednesday and join the struggling students in their plight.

Read more on:    tut  |  pretoria  |  education  |  crime  |  protests

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