Port Elizabeth – At least 31 students were arrested at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) campus on Wednesday, for alleged public violence, police said.
“Eight students were arrested in the morning and 23 later in the day. Their ages range from 19 to 30 years, they were arrested in connection with incidents of public violence on campus, which included the continuous stoning of SA Police Service members,” said police spokeswoman Brigadier Sally de Beer.
On Tuesday, three student leaders of the ‘#FeesMustFall’ campaign at NMMU were arrested during a meeting on campus.
The police have denied allegations that they were targeting leaders of the student protests in order to thwart the ‘#FeesMustFall’ campaign after the arrest of former Witwatersrand University Student Representative Council president Mcebo Dlamini. Dlamini was denied bail by the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.
Another student leader at the University of Pretoria, Naledi Chirwa, was granted a R1000 bail after she was arrested at her home in Mamelodi early Wednesday. Chirwa is spokeswoman for the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command.
The resumption of lectures at NMMU on Wednesday were marred by disruptions as running battles between police and protesters continued. Police used stun grenades to disperse students who would not back down and return to class.
This week, acting police commissioner Lt-Gen Khomotso Phahlane said 567 people have been arrested during the student protests in 265 cases over the last eight months. The charges included public violence, intimidation, and malicious damage to property.