Angry students demand investigation

Protesting Rhodes University #FeesMustFall students delivered a memorandum to Grahamstown police demanding an independent investigation into allegations of alleged brutality on campus.

Student leaders on Friday said even though police brutality and victimisation had reached an “extreme level” they would not give up their fight for free university education.

“We will not give up, for the end is near,” an unnamed leader said.

Rhodes University students prepare for exams behind windows that were smashed during #feesmustfall protests. Picture: DAVID MACGREGOR
Rhodes University students prepare for exams behind windows that were smashed during #feesmustfall protests.
Picture: DAVID MACGREGOR

“We will fight, put our bodies on the line, lives will be lost,” he warned.

The unnamed leaders claimed the campus had been turned into a military camp for all sectors of police and slated management for saying it was “business as usual”.

A leader told protesters that the university claimed to have no money to install extra lights on campus but had still installed dozens of extra security cameras to the tune of R3-million.

According to the memorandum handed to Colonel JP van der Merwe, residence students were severely attacked and brutalised when police stormed Smuts residence on Monday night.

Allegations were made of police firing stun grenades at innocent students in their residences.

Statements were being collected and criminal charges would follow, the memorandum said.

The memorandum claimed students were scared for their safety and insisted that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) investigate the incident.

About 200 students marched to the Grahamstown police station yesterday to deliver the memorandum.

Earlier, residence students who are not involved in the #FeesMustFall movement delivered a separate memorandum to vice-chancellor Sizwe Mabizela alleging police brutality when they stormed Smuts residence.

Accepting the memorandum, Mabizela said he was “shocked” by claims police shot at students in the residence and urged people to come forward so they could pursue the matter in court.

Prior to the march, student Luzuko Brian Naki was released by magistrate Lindelwa Figlan on R5000 bail after being arrested on campus for a second time on Tuesday after allegedly breaching his bail conditions. — davidm@dispatch.co.za

 

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