38 UFS students arrested last week to reappear in court in 2018

Thirty-eight students who were arrested by South African Police Services (SAPS) at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Bloemfontein campus last week are expected to reappear in court on 9 February 2018.

Lacea Loader, the university’s communications director, told The Daily Vox that the students were released on bail on Sunday 22 October. Bloemfontein campus SRC president, Asive Ndanjwa, told The Daily Vox that the students were released on R500 bail each. The arrested students appeared at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Monday and the case was postponed to February next year.

Loader told The Daily Vox that a total of 47 students have been arrested across UFS campuses for contravening an interdict that bars them from disrupting academic activities.

According to the South African Police Service (SAPS) provincial spokesperson, Constable Mosili Ntsika, 38 UFS students were arrested on Friday, 20 October for contempt of court and protesting over fees.

A group of students clashed with members of private security and the SAPS on Friday afternoon, over student fees. Loader said academic disruptions began on 18 October at the Qwaqwa campus, after students handed over a memorandum.

The academic programme resumed on Monday and exams proceeded on all campuses, she said.

The university is currently finalising special exam applications for students who are unable to write their exams, Loader said.

Ndanjwa said students who don’t write their exams during this season should expect to face no repercussions.

Editors’ note: A comment regarding the amount of bail the students paid was incorrectly attributed to Lacea Loader instead of Asive Ntanjwa. This has been corrected.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons