Rhodes University Students Arrested For Campus ProtestBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
11 Rhodes University students were arrested for allegedly violating court interdict on campus protests. This comes after students at the South African school have spoken up against the proposed tuition fee increase.
It was previously reported that Rhodes University has continued the suspension of lectures amidst fees protests by the students. The school's management has already met with some students, the Student Representative Council (SRC), and staff to discuss several issues.
The protests at several tertiary institutions came after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that tuition fee hike decisions will be left to the schools. Rhodes University management warned that a collapse of the higher education system is imminent if the current fees issue is not addressed well.
According to News24, Rhodes University have been arrested for purportedly violating a court interdict. The order supposedly barred them from participating in protests on campus.
"Anyone who threatens, intimidates or prohibits lectures from taking place is breaking that interdict," Captain Luvuyo Mjekula said. "Today the students were found to be disrupting lectures. That was basically threatening other people. Police had to respond on the basis of that."
On Wednesday morning, students were said to have had a peaceful protest on campus. Afterwards, they reportedly went around the campus, singing and urging others to join them.
A source revealed that police officers entered the Rhodes University campus and arrested four students during a law lecture at around 10:30 a.m. After news of the students' arrest was circulated, students boycotted their lectures and protested inside the campus.
Mjekula noted that five students were arrested on campus after the police were called to take them out for disrupting the lecture.
A video from campus publication Oppidan Press showed the police firing rubber bullets at students who were several meters away from them. Apparently, when asked why they were firing at students, a police officer said that some of the protesters were carrying rocks and bottles which may harm others and that they are only trying to protect the public.