S.Africa students, police clash in campus battle

"There has been an attempt to disrupt lectures at Wits today," the university said in a statement.

S.Africa students, police clash in campus battle

World Bulletin / News Desk

South African police fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas at student protesters in Johannesburg on Tuesday as authorities tried to re-open the prestigious Wits University after weeks of demonstrations.

The university, along with many campuses across South Africa, has been closed for at least two weeks during protests over tuition fees, with violent clashes regularly erupting between students, police and private security guards.

"Police are dispersing the protesting students as we speak, using teargas and stun grenades."

University authorities had vowed to re-open the campus on Tuesday, with vice-chancellor Adam Habib warning of the "immense consequences of not finishing the academic year".

He said most students wanted to return to lectures, adding that police and security staff would ensure teaching could go ahead and that mass protests would not be allowed.

"The university wants to arrest us, instead of listening to us," said 21-year-old Patrick Shabalala, a third-year law student, as clashes continued outside Wits' Great Hall auditorium.

"We are not criminals. We want to study and not end up paying endless student loans from the government. That is why we are striking."

As police opened fire and protesters threw rocks, television footage showed several students and at least one police officer sustaining minor injuries.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Ekim 2016, 17:52