Those responsible for student protest death must be brought to book - Manamela

A man was fatally shot earlier today while police officers were dispersing Wits University students protesting over tuition fees. It's understood that he was coming out of a local clinic when he was shot.

Protest action by students in the Braamfontein Precinct. Jorrisen, Bertha & De Korte Str affected. Picture: @JoburgMPD/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Higher Education Minister Buti Manamela has called for those responsible for the death of a man during student protests in Braamfontein on Wednesday to be brought to book.

The man was shot earlier today while police officers were dispersing Wits University students protesting over tuition fees.

It's understood that he was coming out of a local clinic when he was shot.

READ: One person dead as police fire rubber bullets at Wits students

Manamela, in a tweet, said that the department was working on locating the man's next of kin in order for them to extend their condolences.

He added that the department was also in contact with Wits University and student leaders "to restore calm and to resolve the issues at hand".

"Our department and ministry is doing everything to support the institution and the sector so that they conclude the registration process and resume the academic year 2021," Manamela said in the tweet.

Wits University said that it condemned any form of violence.

ALSO READ: Police conducting preliminary probe into fatal shooting at student protest

Spokesperson Shirona Patel said that the institution was calling for calm and was deeply saddened by the fatal shooting.

"Two student reporters were injured and three protesters were arrested and taken to the Hillbrow Police Station. Wits has made available health and counselling services to students and members of the community who need assistance. The university notes with deep concern the escalation of the situation, which is regrettable, and the university calls on all persons to remain calm during this difficult time."

Police watchdog Ipid has sent a team of investigators to probe the fatal shooting.

Ipid spokesperson Ndileka Cola: "The directorate has dispatched a team of investigators to cordon the crime scene and conduct an investigation process and get any sort of information that will be available towards the investigation process. More information will be available later when the team has finalised its preliminary investigation report."

'THEY WERE TRYING TO KILL US'

Wits student leaders are calling for the arrest of police officers responsible for the death of the as yet unidentified man during the stand-off between authorities and students today.

Student leader Bonga Makhaya said that all the police officers should be held responsible.

"Someone has to be arrested, in fact, all of the people that were there are complicit because none of them stopped to think 'let's warn these students, these are young students, these are the future of our country', all of them are complicit and we want every one of those people arrested, not just the person who pulled the trigger."

He said that police were violent towards other students as well.

"There's pictures of other students who have gunshot wounds on their faces, which shows that even these policemen don't know that you're meant to shoot at the ground not at the people. These people were aiming at students, they were trying to kill us, clearly, because a person is dead."

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