Pietermaritzburg – Eleven students that were arrested following protests that wrecked the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus will have to spend the next seven days behind bars.
The 11 made a brief appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday, facing charges of public violence, interference with police operations and failure to adhere to a court order.
Upon entering a packed courtroom the accused started singing struggle songs. Earlier, fellow students in the public gallery were warned by a police officer against causing any rowdiness in the court room.
Prosecutor Advocate Pet Davids told the court that there would be additional charges brought against the 11, including malicious damage to property and that the State would be opposing bail.
Davids said that the safety of other students can only be guaranteed if the accused remain in police custody, as they had already demonstrated reckless behaviour by engaging in an illegal protest.
Magistrate Miranda Boikutso remanded the 11 in custody until September 30, for a formal bail application.
The 11 were arrested following protests at the university’s Pietermaritzburg campus on Thursday where the students clashed with police during protests to demand a zero fee increase. Cars were stoned and fires set alight in the university’s Malherbe residence. Police used rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas to disperse the crowd.