#FeesMustFall protests turn violent, bus set alight in JHB CBD

The students stopped the bus earlier this afternoon and started hurling stones at the vehicle.

A bus has been set alight during Fess Must Fall protests as Wits students continue protesting. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN."

JOHANNESBURG - A bus has been set alight by protesting Wits University students in Braamfontein.

The students stopped the bus earlier this afternoon and started hurling stones at the vehicle.

A police nyala was seen driving up and down Jorissen Street trying to disperse the crowd of protesters.

Police could be heard sending a command: "The bus, the bus!"

And as that was happening, a police nyala drove up towards the bus while firing rubber bullets at the students.

Some of the protesters went back to the bus and set it on fire. Emergency services and firefighters have since extinguished the fire.

At the same time, one person has been taken to hospital after sustaining injuries from a rubber bullet shot during protests at Wits University's Braamfontein campus.

Emergency officials say the patient was treated on the scene for minor to moderate injuries before being rushed off for further medical care.

Johannesburg emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said, "We have treated and transported to hospital one student to the nearest clinic and it looks like the student sustained injured while outside campus."

Protesting Wits University students have blockaded roads in Braamfontein and have forced shops and banks to shut down.

Officers are now diverting cars out of Braamfontein.

One shop owner said, "I closed my shop because I don't want to take any risks. People are throwing stones; police are shooting but we are on the side of the students. We don't want the tuition fee to be high."

Student leaders say the reason why they've occupied Braamfontein is because they are not being allowed back into campus.

They say there were told officers would be arresting students who make their way back into campus.

The protesting students have formed groups on various streets with no sign of student leaders now.


Meanwhile, Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane says police have shown maximum restraint at university campuses and only responded to protect their own lives and those of the security officials.

Phahlane says he was at Wits University this morning when he personally witnessed students stoning private security guards.

"This left the police members deployed no choice but to respond with a degree of force in order to stabilise the situation. We did say so, that when the need arises, that the police would respond accordingly.


Protesting students are not allowing cars into parts of Braamfontein this afternoon and motorists who have tried to move through the student demonstration have had stones hurled at their vehicles.

A few moments ago two loud bangs were head on the Jorissen Street and now there is fresh smoke emerging from the that street


At the same time, a second person has been rushed to hospital this afternoon - after being caught in clashes between police and protesting students.

Father Graeme Pugin of the Holy Trinity Church in Braamfontein has been taken to hospital.

It's understood he was hit by a rubber bullet.

Father Russel Pollet said, "This afternoon when things got rough, group of students came running on to the property and sort of collected next to the church. Police drove by and fire into the crowed."

Meanwhile, the commission of enquiry into higher education has announced that it will not be sitting tomorrow.

It says public hearings will resume on Friday when the appropriation committee will make its presentation.