A 24-year-old student from the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) has been arrested by Saps for public violence following an assault on police and the burning of a SAPS Nyala during student protests on Monday.
Four policemen were injured and taken to a local hospital after students hurled stones at members of the public order policing unit along the N2 road near WSU’s Nelson Mandela Drive campus in Mthatha. One of the police officers is still recovering in hospital.
It’s understood the student protests were about the scrapping of historical debt and the provision of funding and accommodation, among other issues.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said the student was arrested on the N2 near the institution and is expected to appear in court on Wednesday on charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
“The national police commissioner directed the SAPS provincial management to mobilise the 72-hour activation plan which culminated in the arrest of the student about 48 hours after the incident,” Naidoo said in a statement.
Police warned more arrests were imminent.
WSU remains closed
WSU said this week the academic year was under threat as its campuses remain closed due to the violence.
“Walter Sisulu University management have continued to engage with the SRC, but student protests have not ceased and an institution-wide shutdown has been declared by the Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC).
“We now find ourselves at an impasse that sees the 2021 academic year under threat, including our staff and university property that are at risk due to continued student protest action,” the university said in a statement.
A SA police vehicle/nyala was torched in Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape today following student protests at the Walter Sisulu University. Four police officers were injured.
Protests are around finances and graduation related issues.
Video: Source, as recieved. pic.twitter.com/0TkIkTDCeH
— Athi Mtongana (@Artii_M) April 19, 2021