Two Wits student journalists injured, three protesters arrested in clashes with police

10 March 2021 - 14:56 By iavan pijoos
Three protesters were arrested and taken to the Hillbrow police station on Wednesday.
Three protesters were arrested and taken to the Hillbrow police station on Wednesday.
Image: Alon Skuy/Sunday Times

Two Wits University student reporters were injured and three people arrested after violent clashes between protesters and the police in Braamfontein on Wednesday morning.

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said the three protesters were detained at Hillbrow police station.

“The university has made available health and counselling services to students and members of the community who require assistance. The university notes with deep concern the escalation of the situation, which is regrettable, and we call on all persons to remain calm during this difficult time.

“The university remains committed to seeking creative, peaceful solutions to any outstanding issues in the higher education sector,” Patel said.

The violence on Wednesday also saw a man, believed to be in his 30s, shot dead - allegedly by the police. Paramedics said the man was struck twice by rubber bullets and was declared dead on the scene.

Police watchdog Ipid has sent a team to investigate allegations against police officers after a Wits student protest took a tragic turn on March 10 2021. A man was allegedly killed by police as they fired rubber rounds to disperse protesters.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) dispatched four investigation officers to the scene of the fatal shooting.

Ipid spokesperson Ndileka Cola said the directorate was informed about a shooting by the Hillbrow police station earlier on Wednesday.

“The team will ... cordon the crime scene and conduct an investigation, including locating the person with video footage [and] identify eyewitnesses,” she said.

“Furthermore, Ipid will ensure the body is protected and carried safely to the mortuary. If this incident is within the mandate of Ipid, the normal investigation process will unfold.”

Patel said the university was saddened by the man's death.

“The university condemns any form of violence and calls on all persons to keep calm during this very difficult time,” she said.

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