UFS students lobby for release of 32 arrested peers

SRC confirmed 32 students were arrested after classes were disrupted due to clashes with police.

Protesting students at the University of the Free State placed a banner on a gate close to the entrance of the institution's main campus on 25 February 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Protesting students are still lobbying for the release of more than 30 of their peers arrested for contravening a court order prohibiting any demonstrations on campus.

Yesterday, the Students Representative Council (SRC) confirmed 32 students were apprehended at the institution after classes were disrupted due to clashes between protesting students and police.

SRC president Lindokuhle Ntuli says, "We've been able to engage with the university to request and demand the university to release and drop the charges against those students who are arrested. And also meet with the students to engage on current matter as a way forward."

The university is expected to hold a general assembly later this week to allow students, staff and management to engage on the students' grievances.

Ntuli said, "Students are being sabotaged, these are peaceful students who have been protesting very peacefully for the last two weeks. The students at the UFS have not even broken a door or a window for the last two weeks."

Meanwhile, 11 University of KwaZulu-Natal students arrested for their involvement in protests at the Pietermaritzburg campus have been remanded in custody until their next court appearance on Thursday.