UKZN students claim police brutality during arrest

2016-10-21 11:28
UKZN police presence. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

UKZN police presence. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Durban – A group of protesting students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville campus have claimed that police assaulted and verbally abused their leader during a dramatic arrest this week.

Speaking to News24 on Friday, Thando Bobo said that he and his colleagues were leaving Pietermaritzburg after a Fees Must Fall meeting in the early hours of Thursday when the Pietermaritzburg police's Combined Action Team (CAT) cut their vehicles off and arrested their leader, Lukhanyo "Bhanda" Mtshingana.

"On our way out, we were entering the highway and they blocked off our car, pointed guns at us, beat us. They beat Bhanda way more than they beat us. They called us kaffirs and tsotsis."

Bobo said those that were not arrested, himself included, were made to clean Mtshingana’s blood from their vehicle following the alleged assault.

"They made us wash his blood off the car we were driving. They confiscated a phone because we were taking pictures."

Allegations of assault

According to Bobo, Mtshingana sustained a serious injury to his throat during the arrest.

"During the altercation they hurt him, causing a hole in his throat. They are saying he was wanted by police, but he has been moving around on campus with police around and no one has done anything."

According to Bobo, violence had earlier erupted at the UKZN Pietermartizburg campus that resulted in a building being burnt. He said Mtshingana and the rest of his colleagues were not on campus when the incident occurred.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Sally de Beer confirmed the arrest, but said authorities were not aware of the allegations of assault.

"Nothing was reported to the police and no case was opened."

She said he would appear at Pinetown Magistrate's Court on Monday.

By Friday morning, all universities in Durban were quiet following weeks of violent clashes between authorities and students.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  durban  |  university protests  |  university fees

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