Police fire stun grenades at Rhodes University

Stun grenades‚ rubber bullets and tear gas were used to quell protests on the Rhodes University campus overnight‚ the university confirmed on Tuesday.

“Yesterday evening saw extensive disruption on RU campus. Protesters attempted to enter the Barratt Lecture Complex to disrupt a test. Glass doors to the complex were broken in the process.

“At the Library where more glass was broken‚ stones and rocks were thrown at windows and entrances of residences and offices.”

University management also said extensive damage was done to the Biko Building.

Three RU service vehicles were overturned.

The Public Order Policing Unit used stun grenades‚ rubber bullets and tear gas to quell disturbances.

“A number of arrests were made. Protest action ceased at 00h30‚” Rhodes said‚ adding the university would continue with its academic programme this morning‚ despite the protests and police actions overnight.

Julia Fish ‏@julia_fish tweeted: “I was forced off campus at gun point by police tonight. Under threat of being shot and arrested‚ we have evacuated. Stay safe #UCKAR”.

Law student Zanele Shabangu ‏@I_am_Zanele said‚ “I was standing with my res mate chatting. A stun grenade was thrown. We ran and looked for cover. My res mate was arrested.”

A string of other incidents of violence‚ property damage and arson have been occurring at universities across the country.

SAPS Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane said on Monday night that police would deploy officers as and where necessary‚ particularly those at which violent incidents have occurred.

“The deployment of members in and around the university precinct will remain unchanged until advised by the realisation of stability and order.”

“There have been several reports of arson‚ petrol bomb attacks and petrol bombs or large quantities of petrol being found by SAPS members at various locations. Police vehicles have also been attacked with petrol bombs. We continue to take action to disperse students who are disrupting classes and targeting those who wish to study and write exams.”

He said 567 people had been arrested in 265 cases.

According to Rhodes University student newspaper‚ Activate‚ six students at that university were also arrested between 8pm and 9pm last night. It also shared contact details for students wanting counselling as well as legal and medical assistance.


Times Live

Source:  Times Live

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