Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba

JOHANNESBURG: Mayor Herman Mashaba has condemned the destruction of property and looting during the #FeesMustFall protests in Braamfontein, and called on the police to arrest perpetrators.

Mashaba said although everyone had a right to protest to highlight the plight of students crippled by tuition fees, criminal activities would not be tolerated in the city.

A bus was set alight, motorists pelted with stones and shops looted during a protest held by Wits University students in Braamfontein on 
Monday.

“These acts are nothing but criminal, and there should be serious consequences for those found responsible. Our metro police will work hand in hand with the SAPS to bring those responsible for the mayhem to book…

"We will not stand by and watch while human life is endangered, and infrastructure is destroyed,” Mashaba said.

The mayor, who had earlier undertaken a walkabout in Braamfontein to assess the damage left behind by protesters, promised business owners that security would be beefed up in Braamfontein’s streets, open spaces and around business precincts.

Mashaba would also consult with Tiego Moseneke, leader of the former Black Students Society, and the Student Representative Council at Wits, who was part of a mediation team working with the university to resolve the impasse between the institution and protesting activists.

“During these meetings, we will discuss the university council decision to keep JMPD off university campuses in Johannesburg and focus on their responsibility to protect people and infrastructure outside of campuses. We will also discuss the role the city can play in assisting universities and students.”

The city was in the process of coming up with “something significant” regarding student funding, said Mashaba.

“We will be in a position to announce it within 30 days. We acknowledge the legitimate concerns of many students who cannot afford tuition fees, and we need to create a 
more inclusive, fair and equal society.

"These students can play a vital role in future economic growth, job creation and service delivery in our city.”