30 students arrested during #FeesMustFall protests

Police removed hundreds of protesting students from outside Parliament using stun grenades and teargas.

Two students stand against police officers at Cape Town parliament during the Fees Must Fall protest. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police say 30 students were arrested for trespassing and public violence outside Parliament yesterday during clashes over rising university fees, but say the demonstrator's actions were unacceptable.

Students marched to the National Assembly as part of the #FeesMustFall Campaign which is sweeping South African universities.

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They have been protesting for several days now over proposed fee increases.

In an unprecedented development, students entered the parliamentary precinct while Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was delivering his medium term budget policy statement inside the Chamber.

Police removed hundreds of protesting students from outside Parliament using stun grenades and teargas to disperse them.

Thousands of defiant students protested outside the gates of Parliament.

The students demanded to speak to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

Nzimande tried to address the crowd but was unsuccessful.

Last night, the Legal Resources Centre approached the Western Cape High Court seeking an urgent interdict to prevent police from using force to disperse protesting students.

The application was postponed to this morning.

One of the parents, Brian Ashely, who was in court, says some students were badly injured.

"Several students were injured and parents are bringing an application against the police to restrain them in undertaking illegal violent activities against peaceful protesting students."

WATCH: Violence erupts between police and students outside Parliament.


Despite widespread condemnation and calls for restraint from organisations like Amnesty International, police claim officers outside Parliament handled the situation well.

The police's Vish Naidoo has described the students' behaviour as violent and unacceptable saying they provoked officers.

"Despite their provocation police have handled the situation quite well in dispersing the crowd without any injuries being reported."

#FeesMustFall Police: "We are satisfied with the manner in which the situation was managed by police , despite being constantly provoked."

Earlier yesterday, a group of 400 academics based at universities across the country, issued a statement of support for the students praising them for being disciplined and earning the right to be heard and respected.

They have described the protests as historic.


Questions are being asked about whether there is disconnect between parts of society and its leaders after Parliamentary processes continued despite the protests in its precinct yesterday.

The Centre for Politics and Research's Prince Mashele says leaders in Parliament got it wrong yesterday.

"There are scenes of chaos outside parliament and they continue as if nothing has happened. Quite clearly they don't understand the gravity of the instability that is brewing in the South African society."

WATCH: Drama at Parliament as protesters clash with police.

While political analyst Ralph Matekga says this shows students are rejecting formal politicians altogether.

"They will boo a DA leader and don't really want to be associated with the EFF, it shows they are forming some type of alliances outside some of the conventional alliance that we thought defined our nation."

He says it also shows people are losing trust in political structures.