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‘We never wanted violent protests’

There was a standoff between students over whether Afrikaans should be scrapped as a medium of instruction.

Afrikaans Must Fall' scrawled across a wall at the University of Pretoria amid protests over its language policy. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Groups representing the Afrikaans Must Fall Movement at the University of Pretoria (UP) say they are not prepared to negotiate their demands, but they never wanted a violent protests.

The groups, including the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Students Command, UP Rising and the university's South African Students Congress (Sasco) branch, have held a joint meeting, where they are considering a way forward following today's clashes.

Earlier, there was a standoff between students and the group, over whether Afrikaans should be scrapped as a medium of instruction.

The police intervened and both sides left the campus after accusing each other of starting the fights.

The Student Command's Kabelo Mahlobogwane says black students have been vicitmised and treated appallingly by security.

"There are people who were arrested for walking in the streets and people who were arrested for walking home. People were beaten up and brutalised for no reason."

UP Rising spokesperson Tumelo Rasebopye says while they will not reconsider their demands, they do not want any more violent clashes.

"The intention is to find means and ways of advancing our cause without the conflict and confrontation that took place this afternoon."

WATCH: UP shut down over stand-off over Afrikaans