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Stun grenades fired at UCT to disperse protesting students

The demonstrators want Masixole Mlandu, who was arrested earlier this week, released from prison.

Supporters of UCT student activist Masixole Mlandu gathered outside Wynberg Magistrates Court. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN."

CAPE TOWN - Police are monitoring student protesters at University of Cape Town (UCT) after a violent clash earlier today.

Stun grenades were fired to disperse a group of about 50 protesters.

The demonstrators want Masixole Mlandu, a student activist who was arrested earlier this week, released from prison.

Mlandu appeared in court today and was told he'd have to spend another week behind bars until his bail hearing next week.

What started as a peaceful interaction between protesters and vice-chancellor Max Price in front of the Bremner building quickly turned to conflict.



Students became angry when Price told them he would not ask the chief investigating officer who laid the charges against Mlandu to withdraw it.

A scuffle ensued as a few students tried to stop Price from leaving.

Police intervened, pushing students away from the vice-chancellor.



Several stun grenades were lobbed at close proximity, causing students to scatter.

Price was whisked away before students could ask him anymore questions.

The protesters are now at the Steve Biko Building on upper campus.

Earlier, some classes at Wits University were disrupted after police fired rubber bullets at a group of students.

Students at the science stadium exited their lecture venues out of fear that they had be escorted out by protesting students.

Firecrackers were set off in some classrooms, causing alarm bells to ring.

During the commotion, most students were waiting outside the Science Stadium after being evacuated from their lecture halls.

It's now unclear whether classes on this section of the campus will resume.

HEAVY POLICE PRESENCE

There was a heavy police presence at the university today after an attempted arson attack and the damaging of several buildings in overnight student protests.



University management said protesting students marched through campus, trying to set alight four buildings and vandalising several more.

Two students have been arrested following the incident.

The university said it would be reviewing footage from last night's demonstrations, to determine who is responsible for the damage caused to property.



Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said they would be viewing security footage today.

"Wits University can confirm that there was damage to property overnight. We had a group of students who were stoning buildings and smashing windows and throwing rocks at buildings and at security. The security and the police chased them through the campus and two students were arrested."

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