Police probe claims live ammunition was used on UFS students

2017-10-24 19:47
University of the Free State (Andre Damons, Netwerk24)

University of the Free State (Andre Damons, Netwerk24)

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WATCH: Fire extinguishers discharged, windows broken during UFS fees protest

2017-10-20 12:54

Terrified students at the University of the Free State were left gasping for air after protesters discharged a fire extinguisher in their confined classroom during a semester test. Watch.WATCH

Bloemfontein – Police are investigating reports that live ammunition was used when two University of the Free State (UFS) students were shot at the university's QwaQwa campus on Sunday.

UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader confirmed that police were looking into the reports.

The two students, who were allegedly shot by private security guards, are recovering in hospital.

READ: UCT lectures disrupted, students consider march on Parliament

The university cannot "comment on the seriousness" of the injuries because a report from the hospital has not yet been received.

"The UFS executive management sees this unfortunate incident in a very serious light and will act firmly on the outcome of the investigation."

There was little protest action on the UFS campuses on Tuesday.

Several students have been attending counselling sessions in an effort to have their examinations postponed.

On Tuesday, examinations have continued without disruption, the university said.

'I can't read'

Meanwhile, a student has told News24 of his concerns about not finishing his final year.

Petrus Sibeto, a 23-year-old physics and chemistry student, was injured during the protests at the QwaQwa campus on Thursday.

Sibeto is still recovering after being hit by rubber bullets and was discharged from hospital on Monday. He currently has a plaster on his eye, and it's not yet clear if he'll be able to see in the future. 

He said he has already missed two of his three final exams.

"I can't read, I can't sleep. The pain is constant. It's hectic. I don't know what to do," Sibeto said.

ALSO READ: UCT students will respond 'decisively' to proposed fee increase

University of the Free State SRC president Asive Dlanjwa previously told News24 that university disruptions could have been avoided if the Fees Commission report was released.

He urged SRCs at other universities to join the call for free education.

"Being quiet in the face of increments is irresponsible as it is a direct threat to the struggle of the call for free education," said Dlanjwa.

On Monday, the university said additional exam opportunities would be provided for students who were "traumatised by events" at the university campus where private security officials allegedly assaulted students.

The 36 students who were arrested on Friday were released from police custody on Monday morning and will be accommodated for the exams, the university said.

Read more on:    university of free state  |  bloemfontein  |  protests
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