Insufficient evidence to prosecute protesting Wits students, says NPA

Ernest Mabuza Journalist
Students gather to pay respects to a man who died allegedly after being shot by police during a student protest in Braamfontein on Wednesday. The NPA says it will not prosecute seven students arrested during the protests for lack of evidence.
Students gather to pay respects to a man who died allegedly after being shot by police during a student protest in Braamfontein on Wednesday. The NPA says it will not prosecute seven students arrested during the protests for lack of evidence.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) took a decision on Thursday not to prosecute all three dockets related to the arrest of students at Wits University because of insufficient evidence.

Seven students were arrested during the protest regarding student admissions on Wednesday.

During the protests, Mthokozisi Ntumba, a 35-year-old man who had just left a clinic in the area, was killed after being shot in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, near the higher education institution.

A number of students were also injured. 

The cases of seven arrested students were placed on three separate dockets, the NPA said.

The students were released on Wednesday night when after-hours bail was posted at the Hillbrow police station.

“I can confirm we received three dockets, one with five suspects charged for public violence and two with individual suspects - one charged for malicious injury to property and one charged with public violence,” NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said.

She said the docket of the individual charged with malicious injury to property was referred back to the police for further investigation.

“Once those investigations are concluded, the docket will be brought back to the NPA and it is only then that the NPA can make a decision on whether to prosecute.”

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