Magnificent Mndebele & Gaby Ndongo
Earlier today at the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus, more than fifteen students were arrested, following the FeesMustFall movement.
All other UJ campuses except Soweto campus have stopped protesting.
The Chris Hani road was closed by Metro Police and school buses (Megabus) were forced to park elsewhere after being warned that the students might set them alight. The main entrance at Soweto Campus was also barricaded by the Fidelity securities (bouncers), metro police, and the South African Police Services.
At the arrival of the scene, after the police had forcefully dispersed the students with rubber bullets, one police officer by the name of Matlou Mteto, said the police have never fired anything at the students of Soweto campus today.
“There were no shots fired my darling,” she said, as she continued that she deals with proof, not allegations. One student, named Tumi, who was reluctant to provide his full details, allegedly overheard the crowd of police officers planning on how they were going to support their trigger to shoot the students with rubber bullets.
The Open Journal further investigated the claims of Mteto, amidst the tar road on the main entrance of the University, where the road was full of crushed rocks that were used by the students. The Open Journal discovered a pin of a rubber bullet on the ground. One cameraman from eTV, who was at the scene, confirmed that the police fired a few shots of rubber bullets at the students.
One student, who asked to speak on the condition of remaining anonymous, accused the bouncers of using pepper spray on him while he was not protesting but, selling sweets on their routine spot.
“At 2 p.m. at 4/09/2016, I was assaulted by UJ Fidelity guards. The 2 guards that assaulted me said I was disrespectful, they pepper sprayed me directly in my right eye and slapped me repeatedly.” said a statement that was written by the student, who was allegedly slapped by two bouncers.
A group of students was seen on a vast area, a police convoy rushed to those students to disperse them.
At 15:45 the metro police then opened the Chris Hani road which had been blocked for almost half the day. And school buses were also allowed to continue with their routine journeys.
On the other hand, at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), despite the poll results which shows that the majority of those who voted agreed with the continuation of classes today. Some students who ridiculed the Wits poll results continued to protest which led to at least five students being arrested but, were later released.
The SAfm reported that the police at Wits fired rubber bullets at peaceful students- claiming that they were enforcing the law because the students were defying the court ruling that the University should continue with their academics. This angered the students and they reiterated back to the police with whatever they could find.