The arrests and court appearances of week 3 of Fees Must Fall

    This week, a number of students were arrested or appeared in court in connection with Fees Must Fall protests. We’ve been expecting it, to be honest. Ever since President Zuma told the security cluster that there’s an urgent need to “bring the violence under control”, we’ve seen increased police presence on campuses nationwide, which led to clashes between students and police.bring the violence under control”, we’ve seen increased police presence on campuses nationwide, which led to clashes between students and police.

    University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN)

    Last Friday, three students were arrested after a computer lab was set alight at the Pietermaritzburg campus of UKZN. There was minimal damage caused by the fire which was swiftly extinguished by University Risk Management Services.

    On Saturday morning, another four were apprehended in connection with the fire. The seven faced charges of contravening a court order against violent protest action and appeared at the Pietermaritzburg magistrate’s court on Monday. They will be held in custody until 11 October when they formally apply for bail.

    This brings the tally of arrested students on the Pietermaritzburg campus to 18 students. Eleven students were arrested a few weeks ago and denied bail following violent clashes with police and the fires at the entrances of residences on campus.

    The 11 face charges of public violence, failure to obey police orders, assault and malicious injury to property.
    They are expected at court again on Monday, 10 October.

    At UKZN’s Howard campus, a student was arrested on Thursday for leading a group to disrupt classes. The student is yet to be released as he was unable to get a late application for bail.

    University of Johannesburg (UJ)

    Seventeen students were arrested at the Soweto Campus on Tuesday. The students were arrested for blocking the entry and exit points of the campus. Among the 17 was SRC chairperson, Innocent Khumalo.

    The 17 appeared at the Lenasia Magistrate Court on Thursday after being detained at the Kliptown Police Station for two days. They were to be charged with contravening a court order which prevents protest action at any of its four campuses.

    One of the #UJ17 on his arrest and the intimidation he faces at the hands of bouncers

    Sixteen of the students were released but Khumalo remains in custody. This is due to his pending case of assault which cannot be fully withdrawn until his court date on 14 October.

    University of Cape Town (UCT)

    At UCT, nine arrests were made this week. On Monday, six students were arrested for disrupting classes. These students were subsequently released.

    On Tuesday morning, two more students were arrested. One of them was student leader, Masixole Mlandu. He was charged for contravening the court order that bars him from campus. The other, Zukisa Sokhaya, faced two charges of assault.

    Then on Thursday, Sibusiso Mpendulo was detained facing charges of crimen injuria, intimidation and assault.

    The three were taken to the Wynberg magistrate’s court on Thursday. All were released on bail of between R500 and R1, 000 and are expected to reappear in court on 23 November.

    Masixole Mlandu also granted bail of R1000 at Wynberg Magistrate’s Court #FMF #BringBackOurCadres @TheCapeArgus

    And in a twist, student leaders at UCT are planning to lay charges against the university and the private security company deployed by the university for their rough treatment of protest action. The only factor preventing them is a lack of resources.

    University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

    At Wits, two students were arrested on Tuesday morning and released that same afternoon.

    One of the arrested was student leader, Catherine Busisiwe Seabe, who was reportedly taken into custody for asking questions about the other students’ arrest.

    Seabe is also named on the interdict that bars students from disrupting academic activity on campus.

    Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU)

    At NMMU student, Mpumzi Ndsonde was arrested on Monday morning for obstructing the road to the north campus with flaming tyres. Ndsonde was charged with damage to essential infrastructure. He appeared in court the same day and was released on R200 bail. His case was postponed to the 22nd of December.

    Meanwhile, a group of parents and NMMU students intends to take legal action against the university if it doesn’t resume academic activity soon. The university has been closed since 20 September, and the group says it is in breach of its contractual obligations entered into with paying students.

    University of Pretoria (UP)

    Looking ahead, the court hearing for the UP24 will be held on Monday, 10 October. The UP24 are the 24 students who protested against Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in the #AfrikaansMust Fall protests at the beginning of the year. The students were arrested for public violence and released on bail pending a court appearance.

    This is the seventh time that the hearing has been postponed since the arrests were made in February.

    Featured image by Yeshiel Panchia