3 injured, 2 arrested in Wits clashes

2016-09-21 18:43
(Jeanette Chabalala, News24, file)

(Jeanette Chabalala, News24, file)

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Johannesburg - Three students were injured and two were arrested at the University of the Witwatersrand on Wednesday afternoon following clashes with police.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said two students were arrested on charges of public violence.

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said three students were injured. One was shot with rubber bullets. She could not confirm whether they were all Wits students.

One of them, who identified herself to media as Zainab Patel, was pushed to the ground and bundled into a police van.

She repeatedly shouted: "I have done nothing wrong, I was unarmed." The young woman claimed she had been shot in the foot with a rubber bullet.

Meanwhile, students split into several groups outside the Great Hall on Wednesday afternoon, often breaking into song. Some armed themselves with rocks, saying they were going to find private security guards in order to chase them from the campus.

Police fired stun grenades at students who threw rocks at them. A police helicopter circled over the institution.

Students had earlier wanted to march around Braamfontein to mobilise support for their protest, but police stopped them.

Although student leaders refused to speak on the record, they said they were split on what to do next. Some wanted to continue fighting the police, while others wanted to rest and regroup later.

They had been protesting since Monday's announcement by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande that universities could determine fee increments for 2017, as long as these were capped at 8%.

Read more on:    wits  |  university fees  |  university protests

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