Were #FeesMustFall protests driven by a hidden agenda?

Demonstrations began at Wits University last month before quickly spreading to other campuses across SA.

FILE: Students arrived at the Union Buildings where President Jacob Zuma met with management of universities and student leaders. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Police have indicated they're investigating the possibility of a hidden hand behind the student protests over tuition fees that swept the country last month.

Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane told Members of Parliament (MPs) the probe would look at whether or not the demonstrations were driven by another agenda.

He was responding to a question from Freedom Front Plus member Pieter Groenewald who wanted to know who was behind the protests and giving the students money to hire buses.

"Was it really a Fees Must Fall issue? One day we will answer that question," said Phahlane.

Phahlane isn't revealing much about who could have been driving the protests, except to say it's the subject of a probe.

"While I'm not going to give the details of who is behind it, it is a subject of further investigation to try and get to the bottom of it so that we are not confronted with situations of that nature," added Phahlane

The fact that t-shirts were dished out to protesters and the presence of what he described as "questionable" individuals during a chaotic march to the Union Buildings has made him suspicious.

"In the morning before the majority of the students converged at the Union Buildings, we saw people there whose identity was very questionable. We are following them in terms of what their agenda was."

Demonstrations began at Wits University last month before quickly spreading to other campuses across the country, with students using social media to spread their message.

WATCH: The day fees 'fell'


At the same time, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) says it has not received a single complaint regarding police conduct during the #FeesMustFall march to the Union Buildings although student leaders claim police used unnecessary force.

However, Ipid says it is investigating 17 other cases opened against officers nationwide during the protests last month.

Outgoing wits SRC president Shaeera Kalla says she is shocked to learn the police's conduct at the Union Buildings will not be investigated.

"It is really suspicious and we will also carry our own cases against the force that was used on that day."

But Ipid's Grace Langa says there are no complaints on her desk from students complaining about the police's conduct at the Union Buildings when officers clashed with protesters.

"We are not aware. If there was anyone who opened a case related to the Union buildings, that particular person needs to Ipid."

Violent scenes unfolded at the Union Buildings two weeks ago with police using rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse students.

A group of people damaged state property and torched police vehicles.