25 students arrested, 2 cops injured as student protests reach new heights

2016-10-10 18:47
(Themba Hadebe, AP)

(Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Pretoria - At least 25 students were arrested and two police officers were injured during nationwide student protests on Monday, acting national Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane said. 

Phahlane said police arrested five students at Rhodes University and 20 at the University of the Free State. 

He said students at Rhodes University disrupted classes, flooded premises and emptied rubbish bins. 

"There were also disruptions at the Mafikeng campus at North West University. Twenty students were arrested at the University of the Free State in relation to public violence and contravening a court order."

Police came under attack from groups of students who threw rocks at them at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville campus as well as at Wits University, he said.

"At the UKZN's Westville campus at least two policemen sustained injuries," he said. This incident indicated to them the size of the rocks being thrown at police, said Phahlane. 

He disputed claims that police were using force against students without having reason to do so.

He said student groups at Wits University provoked police by blocking traffic in Braamfontein.

Phahlane warned that police would use force to ensure the safety of both protesters and civilians. 

Earlier a bus was torched in Braamfontein.

Police have been involved in tense confrontations with protesting students using rubber bullets and teargas to disperse crowds.

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