/ 20 October 2016

Police fire rubber bullets at students, Shaeera Kalla shot multiple times

Police clash with protesters during #FeesMustFall protests at Wits.
Police clash with protesters during #FeesMustFall protests at Wits.

Protesting students at the University of Witwatersrand clashed with police after they disrupted classes and tests on Thursday.

The protesters apparently took test papers away from students who were sitting for a test. Police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Some students were seen gathering test papers that had been torn up by protesting students.

The Wits SRC has since revealed that its former president and #FeesMustFall leader Shaeera Kalla was shot at least nine times in the back. 

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said the group were disrupting classes at the west campus and the medical school. She said a chemical engineering test was disrupted.

Wits University was unable to reach SAPS but confirmed with campus security and campus health that Kalla was shot nine times. 

“We know she was shot 9 times by police [and] being treated by campus health and taken to hospital,” said Patel.

Patel said Wits campus control and private security do not have guns or rubber bullets.

“Several students were treated at campus health and wellness centre and one with dislocated leg was taken to hospital by the dean of students and campus nurse,” she said

The university is unable to give any other details at this point.

Kalla has since been taken to hospital.

Security and police officers were attending to the incident.

Earlier on Thursday, the university said 100 books had been damaged in a fire on Wednesday afternoon.

Apology to staff, students
The fire was started in the last aisle on the second floor of the Wartenweiler Library, Patel said in a statement.

“Security has determined that the fire was started with an accelerant or flammable substance, which may have been hidden in a bag found on the scene,” Patel said.

The fire was extinguished and a high-level investigation was under way by Wits security and the police.

Patel said academic activities at the university were under way.

“We apologise to all staff and students who were affected and evacuated yesterday [Wednesday].” – News24 and Staff Reporter