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9 students arrested in UKZN protest

Students say they are emotionally and physically tired of clashes with authorities but won’t back down.

Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - KwaZulu-Natal police say nine students have been arrested at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's (UKZN) Pietermaritzburg campus following protests over fees today.

Students at the campus have been demonstrating against government's decision to leave fee hikes for next year up to universities, with a ceiling of 8 percent.

One student was rushed to hospital this afternoon after she was shot in the arm with a gas canister, during a police attempt at dispersing a crowd.

Students say while they are physically and emotionally tired from today's clashes with officials, they won't back down.

The police's Thulani Zwane says the nine arrested students are expected in court tomorrow.

"Nine suspects were arrested during the violence that was taking place at the Pietermaritzburg campus today. They will appear tomorrow in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate Court facing charges of public violence and malicious damage to property. They are in custody right now."

Protests erupted at several South African universities on Monday shortly after Nzimande announced that fee increases for next year will be left up to individual varsities, with a cap at 8 percent.

JOURNALISTS LOCKED UP IN NMMU MEETING FREED

At the same time, at the Nelson Mandela Metro University (NNMU) officials say journalists who were prevented from leaving a meeting with protesting students this evening have now been freed by security.

The university intends to resume academic activities tomorrow.

It's also been reported that nine students have appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrates Court in connection with protests.

The university's Debbie Derry says, "I can confirm that some media were locked inside a meeting that students were holding, I also know that our security staff were able to release and escort them out of the building. NMMU is investigating what happened and will follow up."

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