Eight Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) students have been arrested in Port Elizabeth.
This as students around the country continue to protest Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande’s fee hike announcement earlier this week.
The eight – five females and three males – are being held at the Humewood police station.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said they were being charged with public violence under the National Road Traffic Act.
One of the students faced an additional charge of obstructing the police in the execution of their duties
Students had gathered at the NMMU South Campus since early morning, first rounding up more students at the Unitas residence before moving to The Kraal where they were addressed by university management.
They then marched to the 2nd Avenue Campus where police fired stun grenades.
One of the group’s speakers, Yandisa Ndzoyiya, said: “The purpose of a strike is to inconvenience … We want the outside community to pledge solidarity with us.”
In a Facebook post, a group calling itself the NMMU Fees Must Fall Movement explained why it was taking the protest beyond university grounds.
“We are not yet being heard. This is where the rationale of moving outside our university boundaries and taking our struggle to white capital comes in, where the government will be sure to take us seriously,” the post read.
“The one place we have identified as the key strategic centre which is the hub of white monopoly capital is the Board Walk Centre close to NMMU Second Avenue Campus. Again, we urge all students and genuine symphathisers, especially HIGH SCHOOLS to come show solidarity with us on the ground for this call for free decolonised education.”
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