NWU clashes: Are these live or rubber bullets?

2016-02-25 09:52

Mahikeng - Pictures of supposed live ammunition have been doing the rounds on social media following clashes between North West University students and private security on Wednesday.

Images of bleeding individuals, said to have been part of the clashes at NWU, have also been circulating on Twitter at #NWUMafikeng since Wednesday night.

The consensus of many Twitter users is that the casings appear to be from live rounds, but others have suggested that rubber bullets have similar shell casings.

News24 spoke to former Western Cape Organiser of SANDU Tim Flack to ask his expert opinion on the images, which you can see below.

“[In those images] that’s definitely live ammunition,” Flack said on Thursday.

“The first two are .45 calibre casings, and the rest look like 9mm rounds.

“The police and the SANDF don’t even use .45, so that must have been either from a student or the private security.”

When asked why the army doesn’t use .45 calibre rounds, Flack replied: “.45 has more stopping power [and is therefore more damaging].

"9mm rounds have a rounded tip; they're designed to exit clean from the target.”

- Read: How rubber bullets can harm students

University denials

The university has denied allegations that security personnel used live ammunition on Wednesday.

University spokesperson Koos Degenaar told News24 on Wednesday night that security guards had only used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the protesters.

Degenaar also said that reports of a death of one of the students were also false.

"Those allegations are untrue. That is totally untrue," Degenaar said of the alleged student death. 

"Had there been a death at the campus, I would have known about it.”

Protest aftermath

Students at the university woke up on Thursday morning to find the admin building completely destroyed.

City Press reported that a number of police vehicles and two nyalas were parked just outside the main entrance, while there was still a heavy private security presence.

Some students meanwhile have been housed in town at the civic centre, after the 7 500-strong campus was closed indefinitely on Wednesday night.

See more pictures below from scenes from North West University on Wednesday night.

Read more on:    north west university  |  mafikeng  |  education  |  protests  |  university protests

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