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Students vow to remain strong after cops fire tear gas, stun grenades at UCT

Police used tear gas & stun grenades to disperse students at UCT late on Monday night.

Students protest at UCT in an attempt to reduce tuition fees and to eliminate outsourcing. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Police fired tear gas and stun grenades at University of Cape Town students late on Monday night, hours after the institution's management obtained a court order interdicting demonstrators from interfering with operations at the institution.

UCT is one of several tertiary institutions across the country where students have raised concerns about proposed fee increases and a number of other issues. Protesting under the #Feesmustfall campaign students at UCT, the University of the Witwatersrand and Rhodes University have raised their voices in an attempt to speak to management.

Many of the students have been receiving increasing support from community members and university staff who agree with their calls for affordable education.

On Monday, UCT obtained a court order, a move widely criticised by the demonstrators.

"It's rather unfortunate that the university has chosen this method instead of engaging with students, to victimise us and victimise workers at the same time," said one student leader.

Hours later police arrested a number of students after firing tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd gathered outside the Bremner Building.

WARNING: Video contains explicit language

It's understood the police arrested a number of students and took them to the Rondebosch Police Station. They were later released.

Showing solidarity with those arrested, a large number of students marched to the police station, with some calling for police to release their peers or to arrest them as well.

Earlier on Monday, police in Grahamstown also fired stun grenades to disperse protesting students at the Eastern Cape Midlands College.

Both Wits and Rhodes universities have confirmed lectures will be suspended on Tuesday, to ensure the safety of all those affiliated to the institutions as the #FeesMustFall campaign gains momentum.