Limpopo university students arrested

African News Agency (ANA)

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Students leave the University of Limpopo Turfloop campus after the announcement that the institution had been closed indifinately. Picture.Chester Makana/ANA

Three students at Limpopo University’s Mankweng campus were arrested overnight for alleged public violence after clashes broke out between private security personnel and protesters.

Spokesman Kgalema Mohuba said six students were initially arrested and three of them have since been released.

“The students returned from academic recess on Monday and started gatherings around the campus because protests had already ensued at other universities across the country,” said Mohuba.

“They held another gathering on Tuesday evening, and our security service provider tried to disperse them after realising that there that we were going to have a problem on our hands with them congregating at night on campus. They refused to move and rubber bullets were used to disperse them.”

Two students were injured by rubber bullets during the fracas.

Mohuba said the students left the campus and a group of them attempted to break into a nearby shopping complex, but were stopped by police. There was no serious damage to property except overturned rubbish bins and rocks scattered at the campus, he said.

“We expected lectures to resume today at 7:30 am but no one is in class as we speak. Pockets of students have gathered around the campus, security and the police are keeping an eye on them.”

University campuses have been rocked by protests since last year as students demanded free higher education. An announcement by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande that fee increase for 2017 would be capped at eight percent brought another wave of protests as students demanded a no fee increase until government implemented free higher education.

On Tuesday, Nzimande said damage to university property as a result of the unrest had reached at least R600 million.

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