ANCWL condemns ‘police brutality’ at university protests

The league has reacted to the shooting of student leader Shaeera Kalla at Wits yesterday.

FILE: A SAPS member walks close to his shield during running battles with #FeesMustFall supporters at Wits University. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) has condemned what it calls "police brutality" during fees must fall demonstrations at South African universities.

The league has reacted to yesterday's shooting at Wits University in which student leader Shaeera Kalla was struck 13 times by rubber bullets when police tried to disperse protesters.

Claims that police used excessive force against students will now be the subject of an investigation by police watchdog Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

The ANCWL's Meokgo Matuba says while the organisation believes in the role of the law enforcement officers in restoring order at universities, violent attacks on protesting students must stop.

"We call on police to respond but in a very cautious and stable manner, rather than what we are seeing at universities."

The acting police commissioner has condemned the shooting of Kalla and has called on police to exercise maximum restraint within the confines of the law.

The league says while it respects the rights of students to protest peacefully, violence and destruction of property cannot be justified.

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