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Zille announces investigation into police conduct over #FeesMustFall protests

23 October 2015 - 19:11 By Aphiwe Deklerk

Western Cape Police Ombudsman‚ Vusi Pikoli‚ will probe the province's handling of students during the #FeesMustFall protests. The SAPS came under fire after Wednesday's scenes in Parliament when students stormed the parliamentary pricinct demanding Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande address them.On the day‚ 29 students were arrested and are currently out on warning.They include University of Cape Town Vice Chancellor Max Price's son Ilan‚ liberation struggle stalwart Frank Chikane's son Kgotsi‚ Advocate Wim Trengove's son Markus‚ Struggle veteran and author Phyllis Naidoo's grandson Buck Whaley‚ and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba's son‚ Nyakallo. Controversial student leader Chumani Maxwele is also among those who were arrested.On Tuesday‚ students had resorted to asking white students to form a human guard on the frontline in the belief that police would not shoot at the white students.In a statement today‚ Premier Helen Zille said her government had received confirmation that Pikoli would be doing the investigation."We call on students who have alleged mistreatment by SAPS to come forward and assist the Ombudsman investigation‚" said Michael Mpofu‚ Zille's spokesman.He said Zille had engaged with Stellenbosch University students for at least two hours today."We support the students' right to march in a peaceful and orderly manner‚" said Mpofu.Earlier today‚ Zille was surrounded by protesters from the #StelliesMustFall movement at the Coertzenburg Stadium in Stellenbosch. Protesters surrounded the premier inside the sports science building‚ demanding that she get university management to meet with them‚ and remove the court interdict preventing them from protesting on campus.After university management failed to meet a deadline to meet set by the protesters‚ the group took to the streets. Students marched to the university campus where they occupied the education‚ arts and geology buildings‚ vowing to disrupt all classes.Later in the afternoon - ahead of President Jacob Zuma's announcement that agreement had been reached on zero fee increases for 2016 - the Stellenbosch University rector Wim de Villiers announced that all academic activities on campus were suspended and that an interdict preventing protests would be lifted.De Villiers had only returned from London today‚ where he was visiting universities for research on bursaries and management."We are with you on a zero percent fee increase‚" De Villiers said to loud cheers from the crowd‚ when he addressed them. "Protests on our campus have been extremely peaceful‚ we will lift the interdict. With regard to examinations and academic support‚ we will make arrangements that that will be extended to such a period to accommodate all students."Last night‚ reports of police firing stun grenades and using water cannons on students at the University of Western Cape surfaced...

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