Police activate national ops centre as fees protests escalate

The police’s national joint operation centre will monitor student demonstrations across the country.

FILE: Police monitor protests at UCT. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The police's head office says it has activated its National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) to monitor student demonstrations taking place at several universities across the country.

Student leaders have called a national demonstration under the banner of the Fees Must Fall movement, which started at Wits University a week ago.

While government has offered to put a six percent cap on fee increases, students have largely rejected the offer.

The police's Vishnu Naidoo says public order police who've been deployed to each demonstration and provide situation reports to their commanders every two hours.

"We're also having the situation monitored from the provincial joint operation centre and at the head office in Pretoria. We've activated the national joint operation centre, where we are also monitoring the situation around the country."

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He says police are there simply to maintain law and order.

"They know what level of force should be needed to disperse crowds or to subdue crowds."

Naidoo says the police hope that an agreement is reached soon to bring an end to the demonstrations.

UNIVERSITIES AFFECTED:

• University of Free State

• University of Limpopo

• University of Fort Hare

• Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

• University of the Witwatersrand

• University of Cape Town

• Eastcape Midlands College (Grahamstown)

• The University currently known as Rhodes

• Central University of Technology

• Cape Peninsula University of Technology

• University of Western Cape

• All 11 Agricultural Colleges in South Africa

• Walter Sisulu University (Buffalo City Campus and Umtata Campus)

• Tshwane University of Technology

• University of Pretoria

• North West University (Potchefstroom campus)

• University of Stellenbosch

Click through the map below to see which universities have been affected by the nationwide protests: