News / South Africa / Protests

Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
17 Mar 2021
10:25 am

Students march to court as four cops appear for man’s death

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Four police officers arrested in connection with the death of bystander will face charges of murder, attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Wits students have been protesting students being excluded from registering because of debts owed to the university. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) will today march to the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court where four police officers are due to appear for the death of a bystander during student protests last week.

They were arrested on Monday in connection with the death of bystander Mthokozisi Ntumba during student protests at Wits University in Braamfontein.

The officers are from the Public Order Policing Unit, Ipid confirmed in a statement.

They will face charges of murder, attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice.

The Wits SRC says it will be marching in support of Ntumba’s family. The SRC has sent its condolences to his family and demanded that justice be served.

ALSO READ: Wits protest police victim was his family’s main breadwinner

“We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences and support to the family of Mthokozisi Ntumba who became a victim of police brutality. We demand justice for Mthokozisi,” the SRC said in a statement.

It further called for the resignation of Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande over the student fees crisis.

“It is unfortunate that years after the biggest student movement -#FeesMustFall – we still protest year in and year out to access doors of higher learning.

ALSO READ: Wits protests: The high price of failed promises

“The Wits SRC calls for the resignation of Minister Blade Nzimande. Under his administration lives are lost and dreams shattered while fighting for the poor and working class to access doors of higher learning,” it said.

The minister has said his department was not in a position to scrap historical debt.

“The Department of Higher Education and Training is not in a financial position to be able to support institutions to clear all student debt of fee-paying students. We are aware there are many students whose families struggle to keep up with fee payments and, indeed, many families who have been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, given the difficult fiscal situation, all government departments, including the Department of Higher Education and Training, have been subject to budget reductions in 2020 and 2021,” Nzimande said.

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