Stun grenades fired at protesting Wits students, #FeesMustFall leader arrested

Police fired stun grenades to disperse protesting Wits University students near the institution’s Solomon Mahlangu House on Tuesday morning.

#FeesMustFall leader Busisiwe Seabe was subsequently arrested. Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel confirmed that only one student was arrested for “for not obeying police order[s]”.

Seabe told reporters through bars at the back of a police van that she was arrested for asking questions.

“They took me in, they said I should stop asking questions. I did say [that I am part of the SRC] but I guess that they still did not want to help me out,” she said. Lectures are expected to resume on Tuesday morning following three weeks of student protests.

On Monday afternoon former Wits SRC leader Mcebo Dlamini, who is one of the current protests’ leaders, told students that the university would remain shut.

This was despite the outcome of a poll in which staff and students voted overwhelmingly to reopen the institution.

Taking Wits back Earlier on Tuesday, students found themselves with limited venues for their protest after they were prevented by police from gathering outside the Great Hall while private security would not grant them access to buildings, said #FeesMustFall’s Anzio Jacobs.

He told News24 a tough day lies ahead.

“Students met till late last night and because of a lack of public transport some slept here on the floors of Solomon Mahlangu House in anticipation of the academic programme resuming today. But this morning they woke up to 50 bouncers who threw them out,” Jacobs said.

He said students then woke up their comrades in order to prepare for the academic programme, and when they gathered at outside the Great Hall they were approached by police.

“We were met by police who told us it’s illegal in terms of the interdict granted to Wits for us to gather in groups of two or more and to sing or even to stand near dustbin lids.” 

Students at the institution have been at odds with management over their bid to continue with their protest.

On Monday Wits vice-chancellor Adam Habib vowed to take back the institution saying he had received a commitment of assistance from police and private security in this regard. – News24

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