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Crowd supports UP students and chants, 'down with Afrikaans'

22 February, 12:21 PM

The case against 24 University of Pretoria (UP) students accused of public violence has been postponed in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court. The students appeared in a packed court house wearing black outfits. They were arrested on Friday, 19 February following clashes on campus. At least 27 people were arrested for public violence but charges against three students were dropped.

On Monday, 22 February students marched from the University to the court to support those appearing. They sang and danced in the street chanting, "Away with Afrikaans." A crowd of UP students gathered outside court to support their peers. SASCO Task Team member in Gauteng Junior Ackotia said, "The African has many struggles to go through on campus."

He added, "It's not only a narrow question of only the language policy but we are saying we want to create a cultural space at the University of Pretoria tha welcomes all, regardless of their race, regardless of their creed, regardless of their ethnic breed."

The state asked for a postponement to allow for further investigations. Timothy Ramabalana said the case can not have another postponement as the students need to get back to classes.

"We need to note what it is that is still outstanding. We are dealing with students who have classes. We need to know what the state is looking for so that we can make it available," he said.

Donald Sekwakweng told the court that the conditions of the bail needed to be clarified. "We need to know what the bail conditions are. Is it that they can't take part in illegal protests or protest in general," he said.

The prosecution team said they still needed to download video footage for the day and that would take six weeks. It was further added that the students could not participate in illegal protests or break the law.

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