Seven free-to-go after Union Buildings protest

2015-10-25 18:48


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#FeesMustFall: ‘Government should be afraid of us in future ’

2015-10-24 11:58

Tens of thousands of students from several tertiary institutions gathered at the Union Buildings on Friday to call for a zero percent increase in 2016 fees and this was met. But before they knew of their achievement, the march had turned into chaos. Some students expressed their disappointment to the violence they witnessed, while others called it a necessary evil.WATCH

Durban - Six students and an informal trader – detained by the police after violent protests at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday – have been released without charge.

Riot police clashed with thousands of students who had gathered to be addressed by President Jacob Zuma, after the #feesmustfall movement gathered momentum across the country last week.

Socio-economic Rights Institute (Seri) spokesperson Nomzamo Zondo, in a statement, said that the seven were released after the chief prosecutor of Pretoria intervened at Seri's request on Sunday.

"The Prosecutor who attended at Sunnyside Police Station today advised the Police that there was no evidence linking any of the students or the informal trader to any offence. Seri and our clients would like to acknowledge the Chief Prosecutor's prompt intervention and the integrity with which he discharged his function."

"We note with concern that the police took over 20 hours to charge our clients; that they did so despite the fact that they must have known that there was no factual basis to sustain the charges; and that the duty prosecutor initially refused to consider bailing our clients on the totally erroneous basis that the charges were beyond her jurisdiction," Zondo said.

"Everyone has the right to be free from arbitrary arrest and detention. Too often, however, the police abuse their powers of arrest, and compound that abuse by dragging their feet in charging and processing arrested persons. This is a case in which there clearly should have been no arrest in the first place. Our clients were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Read more on:    pretoria  |  education  |  university fees

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