Protesting Stellies student has seizure after altercation with security

2016-09-16 19:06
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

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Cape Town - A Stellenbosch University student who took part in a protest inside the university's library has been taken to hospital after she collapsed and had a seizure following an altercation with security guards.

A student involved in the protest on Friday told News24 that security personnel "manhandled" and pepper sprayed the students after they had staged a sit-in in the campus library overnight.

"They opened the doors to the library even though we were still inside and a member from the university confronted us. He didn't identify himself," one of the students told News24, choosing to remain anonymous.

The students were told to leave but they resisted, she said.

After that, she said, security chose to close the library doors, preventing the protesting students from exiting.

At that point students and security guards started jostling at the doors.

"It was a very physical thing. One female student was completely lifted up. Other students had been pepper sprayed. And another female student collapsed and started having a seizure in the library."

The female student is currently in hospital and will be having X-rays, the student said.

According to her, police arrived on campus a few minutes later, but then left saying it was a university issue.

"All we ever wanted is for [vice chancellor] Wim de Villiers to come and speak us," she said.

Rights of other students

University spokesperson Martin Viljoen said a discussion had been planned on Friday afternoon so management could understand and listen to the students' concerns. He called the altercation a "scuffle".

"As these actions infringe on the rights of other students who need to access the library services, the University could not allow the situation to continue indefinitely.

"For that reason the protesting students were served with written notices to vacate the building and they were given time to do so.

"A few students were treated for pepper spray inhalation at campus health services," Viljoen said.

He also said the student who "needed emergency medical care" was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

SRC spokesperson James de Villiers confirmed a student had had a seizure, and said the student body is working to help the students who have been affected psychologically and physically.

He also said the SRC condemned all forms of violence.

Read more on:    stellenbosch university  |  university fees  |  protests

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