Police open fire on protesting students

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

Police had to use rubber bullets to disperse protesting students at the Medunsa Campus of the University of Limpopo in GaRankuwa, north of Pretoria, yesterday.

This was after the students barricaded the main entrance and hurled objects at the police.

Captain Prince Mkhabela said police responded by firing rubber bullets to disperse the students.

One student was hit on the neck and several staff members' cars were damaged by rubber bullets when students took cover behind the vehicles.

The students then went on the rampage burning rubbish bins and vandalising the cafeteria.

Mkhabela said the students also attacked and injured a cafeteria worker.

The protest started on Monday with a group of students forcing others out of class and disrupting registration.

The student representative council has vowed to continue with the protests until their demands were met.

SRC president Tshegofatso Menyatso said their main concerns were fees increases and academic exclusions on financial grounds.

Menyatso said the students were also demanding the reversal of the 7percent increase in tuition and boarding fees.

The students argue that management had no reason to raise the fees because there was no tangible improvement in the institution.

Menyatso said they want management to credit the money already debited from the students' account towards their tuition fees.

The students also complained about the meal-access method where only bursary students were allowed to use meal cards.

The university's spokesman Daphney Kgwebane said the fee increase issue was discussed and agreed upon with the SRC.

She said more than 2000 students who owed fees had been registered.