Journalists threatened at Union Buildings, as students demand Zuma speaks to them

2015-10-23 13:22
Karabo Ngoepe. (News24)

Karabo Ngoepe. (News24)

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WATCH: Hundreds of student protesters stream onto Union Building grounds

2015-10-23 12:34

Watch has hundreds of protesters stream onto the lawns of the Union Buildings.WATCH

Pretoria - Frustrated students gathered at the Union Buildings have shouted an ultimatum for President Jacob Zuma to come and talk with them, "or else...."

Tensions have been building up among the crowd of several thousands, with tyres being burnt, scuffles breaking out and stones and water bottles thrown at police and police vehicles.

Journalists covering the mass student demonstration against university fees at the Union Buildings have been threatened by students from Soshanguve, predominantly part of the Economic Freedom Fighters.

eNCA reported that a BBC journalist was apparently hit on the head with a rock and was bleeding profusely.

Two News24 journalists and a journalist from Jacaranda FM were filming the demonstration and taking pictures when they were approached by the Soshanguve students early on Friday afternoon.

"Stop fucking shooting us. You are not allowed to shoot us," the group told the three journalists.

One of the students approached the Jacaranda FM journalist and struck her with a bottle, before telling her in Sotho, "Stop filming me you piece of shit. I will fucking kick you in the pussy".

'Leave the media alone'

The student was then restrained by his peers.

A News24 journalist was also approached and told she could not take pictures, "not of Soshanguve", before going to another student in a Democratic Alliance T-shirt and demanding to see his phone.

The other News24 journalist was also threatened and he was told in Sotho, "Don't fucking take pictures of me". Other students told the journalists to ignore the threats, claiming the students who made it were drunk. They then instructed their peers "to leave the media alone".

One of the Shoshanguve students was seen carrying a tyre, for what purpose it was not known, while two others told the three journalists that those that had threatened them were drunk and instructed their two colleagues to leave media alone.

They then went into the crowd, sprinkling water as they ran.

This was taking place as students at the front of fence stopping them from reaching the Union Buildings began tearing the fence up from the bottom.

Thousands of students had gathered at the Union Buildings on Friday from Pretoria and Johannesburg to protest against high university fees.

President Jacob Zuma at the same time was in a meeting with student leaders and university management teams to find a solution to rising tertiary education costs.

The demonstrations were sparked last week by Wits University students, who blockaded the entrance to the Johannesburg university's campus after the institution indicated it would raise fees by 10.5% for 2016.

Demonstrations later spread to Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University, the University of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, the University of Pretoria, the University of the Free State, the University of Limpopo, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Tshwane University of Technology, including its campus in Mbombela, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the University of the Western Cape, Walter Sisulu University, the University of Johannesburg and the University of Fort Hare.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  education  |  university fees  |  protests

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