Stun grenades used against protesting Cape Town pupils

2015-03-06 11:40
The pupils from Philippi High School protest outside the Western Cape education department. (Paul Herman, News24)

The pupils from Philippi High School protest outside the Western Cape education department. (Paul Herman, News24)

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WATCH: Stun grenades fired at protesting Cape Town learners

2015-03-06 14:24

Police used stun grenades to disperse pupils who were protesting outside the Western Cape education department on Friday. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Police used stun grenades to disperse pupils who were protesting outside the Western Cape education department on Friday morning.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

The pupils from Philippi High School were protesting to demand better classrooms and more textbooks.

There were about 200-300 pupils taking part in the protest, which started at around 10:00 on Friday morning.

"The pupils refused to leave. The police warned them to disperse, but then they sat down, saying they wanted to be heard.

"All of a sudden you just heard this huge sound from the stun grenade. The kids dispersed into shops and into the Golden Acre," News24's Noxolo Mafu said.

One pupil reportedly fainted from shock after one of the devices hit her on the leg.

Police on the scene described the firing of the devices as 'crowd management'.

Some of the demands centred around derelict classrooms made of prefab. In a pamphlet highlighting their plight, students described the classrooms as 'falling apart'.

Other complaints included classes containing on average 60 learners at once, and a shortage of textbooks.

None of the teaches from Philippi High School were present at the protest, students on the scene said.

Below is a video from the scene, where loud noises can be heard as police used stun grenades.

Western Cape education department spokesperson Paddy Atwell told News24 the pupils were demanding a new high school.

"We are planning to build a new high school in the area, but the problem is there is no land there, so we are looking into that."

Students said they had approached the department before, but were denied until grades at the school improved.

In the pamphlet, though, learners claimed the pass rate improved as of the latest matric results, with 126 learners passing matric of the 178 enrolled, and now want the department to deliver on its promise.

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk told News24 he was not in a position to comment just yet.





Read more on:    cape town  |  education  |  protests

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