Protest chaos engulfs Pretoria city centre
Chaos engulfed the Pretoria city centre on Wednesday as police chased students on the pavements‚ taking pot shots at isolated protesters armed with sticks‚ stones and using bin lids as shield.
Business ground to a halt as shops‚ including banks and government offices‚ shut their doors and car alarms and the roar of armoured vehicles shattered the peace as police attempted to drive the protesters out of the city.
Earlier on Wednesday morning‚ students disrupted classes at the Tshwane University of Technology's Pretoria West campus‚ barricading the main entrance with burning tyres.
A large police contingent drove students off campus. The students then moved to the Hatfield arts campus where they also disrupted classes and barricaded the gate with burning tyres‚ rocks and other rubble.
Police in armoured vehicle were seen firing rubber bullets at a lone student with his face covered with a red cloth‚ carrying a stick and a rubbish bin lid. Construction men working near the North Gauteng High Court's Palace of Justice shouted at the student when he attempted to take cover among them.
The students regrouped later and marched to the Church Square‚ singing struggle songs and banging on road signs with sticks.
Moments later Tshwane metro police and Saps armoured vehicles roared into the square‚ chasing students down Stanza Bopape street towards the State Theatre.
TUT‚ which has been on a two-week recess due to the violent protests, was supposed to resume academic activities on Monday but protesting students have vowed to ensure this doesn't happen.
The protest has been intensified by the Outsourcing Must Fall movement joining forces with the Fees Must Fall movement to consolidate the struggle of workers and students at higher education institutions.
Vusi Mahlangu‚ student activist and Outsourcing Must Fall co-ordinator‚ said their programme started at the University of Pretoria on Monday‚ where the resumption of classes was disrupted and moved on to the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences campus in Ga-rankuwa‚ North of Pretoria‚ on Tuesday where classes were also disrupted and police clashed with students.
- TMG Digital