Wits #FeesMustFall protesters to recruit students at other campuses
Paramedics are stationed at Wits following several injuries.
JOHANNESBURG - After hours of running battles with police at Wits University, #FeesMustFall protesters have now dispersed from the Great Hall to recruit students at other campuses.
Paramedics are stationed at Wits this afternoon following several injuries as a result of confrontations, rubber bullets and scuffles between demonstrators and officers.
Paramedics confirmed that at least five people have been taken to hospital for treatment, including a lecturer.
ER24's Chitra Bodasing Harduth says it has a team on standby at Wits this afternoon, following running battles between officers and students throughout the day.
"Injuries range from soft tissues to a sprained ankle."
Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel added, "Professor David Hornsby was injured and taken to hospital. We are still waiting for the results and we are investigating this matter."
Earlier, some female demonstrators stripped off their tops and bras outside the Great Hall.
They were demanding that officers stop firing rubber bullets and stun grenades at demonstrators.
Some protesting students are outside the Hillbrow Police Station demanding the release of their classmates who were arrested.
Economic Freedom Fighters' Dali Mpofu says, "We're going to find out why the students have been arrested and try to get them out. Secondly, we're going to speak to vice-chancellor Adam Habib and his people."
Student leader Mcebo Dlamini addressed students outside the police station, saying, "We refuse that the police use petrol paid by the taxpayers to go and look for us at campus, we are bringing ourselves (sic). We are determined, we will achieve free education."
As Wits management prepares to meet this afternoon to discuss the future of this year's academic programme, both Independent Electoral Commission Deputy Chair Terry Tselane and Mpofu have announced there will be a student assembly on Friday, which will bring together former student leaders, parents and struggle stalwarts such as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Tselane also addressed a group of students gathered outside the police station.
"We're here to tell you that your struggle is our struggle. We're part of your struggle, because the struggle that you're fighting is a struggle that we fought and we're here to make sure that you achieve victory."
Meanwhile, at least 17 students were arrested at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto campus.
Police say the students contravened a court order obtained by the institution to block any demonstrations at all four of its campuses.
The police's Phephi Matlou-Mthetho says, "Seventeen students were arrested for contravening a court order. They were blocking other students from gaining entry into the university."
Earlier demonstrators tried to block students from entering the institution.
Student Activist Boipelo Phalatsi says, "The bouncers and police are all over campus. They've used pepper sprays and there are some students who are badly affected by the pepper sprays."
At the same time at Rhodes University, vice-chancellor Sizwe Mabizela has warned against what he calls the 'militarisation of universities'.
The University condemns all forms of violence, arson and the destruction of property.— Rhodes University (@Rhodes_Uni) October 1, 2016
Mabizela says Rhodes, like many other universities, cannot afford private security and relies on police to maintain order.
"We hold the view that universities should never develop such a capability, because we do not want to militarise our campuses."
LISTEN: Adam Habib: We can't provide free education