Walter Sisulu University obtains interdict to block violent student protests

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A police nyala which went up in flames during student protests at Walter Sisulu University.
A police nyala which went up in flames during student protests at Walter Sisulu University.
Twitter/mtshiyo_yamkela
  • Walter Sisulu University has obtained an urgent court interdict to prevent its students from conducting further violent protests. 
  • The urgent interdict also prevents students from pelting WSU staff members and SAPS members with stones or any other material. 
  • The students are also interdicted from blocking and or interfering with the smooth flow of traffic along the routes next to WSU campuses. 

Walter Sisulu University has obtained an urgent court interdict in an attempt to prevent its students from embarking on violent protests. 

On day four of the protest, Monday, four police officers were wounded while a police Nyala was torched during clashes between cops and students outside the university's Nelson Mandela Drive campus in Mthatha.

READ | WSU student protest: Police Nyala torched, campus' cafeteria looted

Students allegedly blocked the N2 leading into Mthatha, causing massive traffic delays. 

One of the four injured Public Order Police unit members had to be hospitalised.

A cafeteria was looted, and a university bus torched at the Butterworth campus. 

The chaos forced the university to shut down all its campuses and ordered students to go home this week.

Following resistance from students, WSU approached the Mthatha High Court on an urgent basis and was granted relief to prevent any further turmoil at three campuses.

READ | UCT SRC pleads for donations for students left destitute after fire

The interdict applies to students based in Mthatha, Komani and Buffalo City Metro campuses incorporating East London and Mdantsane.

Of the 29 respondents listed on the court order, 26 are students.

The other three respondents are station commanders of Mthatha central police, Komani police and Mdantsane police.

The station commanders have been instructed to make sure the students complied with the court interdict.

The matter will be argued at the Mthatha High Court on 22 June. 

Pelting

The urgent interdict also prevents students from pelting WSU staff members and SAPS members with stones or any other material.

The students are also interdicted from blocking and or interfering with the smooth flow of traffic along the routes next to WSU campuses. The court interdict also orders students to stop denying WSU staff members and the public entry to all WSU campuses. 

On Monday, SAPS opened cases of malicious damage to property and assault while national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole gave the provincial police 72 hours to arrest perpetrators of the violence.

PICS | DUT students stone police vehicles in protest over registration

The protests were sparked by an ongoing dispute between the university and students over a string of demands. The demands included the waiving of historic student debts and provision of accommodation and funding. 

The university said it feared the academic year was under threat following the violent protests. 

In its continuous engagement with students, the university said management negotiated its standpoint and indeed conceded to various demands, including waiving the Minimum Initial Payments (MIP/Registration) fee to ensure that students could continue to access higher education despite being financially challenged. 

The university said it had experienced violence and damage to property on more than one of its campuses, despite its efforts to engage the issues peacefully. 

Asked about Institutional Student Representative Council's response to the interdict, WSU ISRC president Phelo Matentamo said: "Obviously, we are very shocked because mass action is the only way that WSU management listens to the cries of students. Most of the accusations are not true."

The police officers who were attacked are receiving psychological support, SAPS said. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 5440 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
45% - 5006 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 577 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.00
+0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.80
+0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.01
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.97
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.2%
Gold
1,837.73
+0.1%
Silver
27.63
+1.2%
Palladium
2,947.04
-0.5%
Platinum
1,240.64
-0.8%
Brent Crude
68.32
+0.1%
Top 40
61,320
-1.7%
All Share
67,241
-1.7%
Resource 10
70,627
-2.1%
Industrial 25
84,184
-1.7%
Financial 15
12,659
-0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo