NMMU students to appear in court after protests

2016-09-22 10:32
Students protest at NMMU in Port Elizabeth. (Derrick Spies, News24)

Students protest at NMMU in Port Elizabeth. (Derrick Spies, News24)

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Port Elizabeth - Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) students, who were arrested on Wednesday afternoon following protests, would appear in court on Thursday.

On Wednesday night, police reported that eight students had been arrested, but police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed on Thursday morning that the number was in fact nine.

"Six women and three men aged between 18 and 24 were charged and processed last night," she said.

Naidu said they were charged with public violence and contravening the National Road Traffic Act. One student had an additional charge of interfering with police in the execution of their duties.

Naidu said all nine had been released on R50 bail each after 22:00 last night and would be making their first court appearance in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

A large group of students had gathered outside the Humewood Police Station to stand vigil in solidarity with their arrested peers. Calls for donations of food and drink for the group were posted on Facebook and Twitter last night.

Targeting 'white monopoly capital'

Before the protest began, the NMMU Fees Must Fall collective posted on Facebook that they would be targeting the Boardwalk complex, as it was a symbol of white monopoly capital.

"We have come to the realisation that the government of this country does not take us seriously and with the recent pronouncement by the [Minister of Higher Education and Training] Blade Nzimande a day ago, seeks to pit us up against our institutions who have little power," it said in a post just before 14:00 on Wednesday.

In the post, the organisers said the shutdown of the university was not enough.

"We are not yet being heard. This is where the rationale of moving outside our university boundaries and taking our struggle to white capital comes in, where the government will be sure to take us seriously," the statement read.

"The one place we have identified as the key strategic centre which is the hub of white monopoly capital is the Boardwalk centre close to NMMU Second Avenue campus," the post read.

"Again, we urge all students and genuine sympathisers, especially high schools, to come show solidarity with us on the ground for this call for free decolonised education."

Read more on:    nmmu  |  port elizabeth  |  university fees  |  university protests

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