308 High school students from the townships around Gauteng Marched in the Johannesburg CBD today to hand in their memorundum of griwevances to the Gauteng Department of Education. 290714 Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - A large group of pupils protesting in the Johannesburg central business district dispersed on Wednesday at Park Station, metro police said.

The group had marched to a department of education building on Albertina street around 2pm, Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

Four school pupils were taken to hospital after being attacked by shop owners whose businesses were looted during the protests.

“Four male learners assaulted by shopkeepers who retaliated were taken to hospital,” said

They looted shops and picked up hawkers' stands and threw them to the ground. The majority of the group were standing in front of the education department building. They then moved to the Gauteng legislature, before returning to Park Station.

Minnaar said there had been reports of two other groups of pupils protesting in Hillbrow and Fordsburg. He could not confirm if the three groups were linked to each other. The pupils were dressed in different uniforms.

He advised motorists in the CBD to avoid the streets and use Marshall Street as an alternative.

No permission had been granted for the protest, Minnaar said. Metro officials had been monitoring the situation and said the students had dispersed by 4pm.

The group had marched to the department of education and the Gauteng legislature to hand over memorandums.