Seven students arrested following protest action at Nelson Mandela University

2019-09-02 22:41
Bamanye Matiwane taken by police. (Zama Baleni via Twitter)

Bamanye Matiwane taken by police. (Zama Baleni via Twitter)

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Seven students, including Nelson Mandela University students representative council chairperson Bamanye Matiwane, have been arrested following protest action at the university's Port Elizabeth campus on Monday.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed to News24 the students were being held at the Humewood police station. She said, however, it was unclear when they would appear in court.

It is believed students protested because of safety and security concerns at the university, but management said it had not been told of the intended protest.

Naidu said the arrested students faced charges of public violence, incitement to commit violence and obstructing the police in their duties.

"There was a large police contingent throughout the day," said Naidu, adding a police officer was injured when a stone was thrown through the window of a vehicle which came under attack.

"By the afternoon, the situation had normalised," she said. 

In communique on Monday evening, the university said it had taken a decision to suspend all academic activities on Tuesday.

"The reasons for today's protest has not been formally communicated to university management, in accordance with the mutually agreed engagement protocols.

"The previous set of demands around safety and security issues have been addressed. This includes the safety and security measures that have been implemented over time as part of an overarching strategy," the statement read.

It added after management concluded its assessment of the situation, it decided to suspend all classes.

Naidu said given the communication by the university about suspending classes, they would assess the situation from a policing point of view.

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