JOHANNESBURG, October 18 – Rhodes University students protesting for free education disrupted an examination, smashed windows and upended cars before police used stun grenades and rubber bullets to quell the disturbances.
Catherine Deiner, the university spokesperson, said there were extensive disruptions at the institution on Monday.
In a statement on Tuesday she said protesters attempted to enter the Barratt Lecture Complex with the apparent intention of disrupting a test which was taking place. Glass doors to the complex were broken in the process.
“Protesters then moved to the Library where more glass was broken, before progressing to upper campus where, again, stones and rocks were thrown at windows and entrances,” said Deiner.
“Extensive damage also occurred in the Biko Building, site of the offices of the Division of Student Affairs and the SRC. Three University service vehicles were overturned at the rear of the building.”
She said members of the Public Order Policing Unit used stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas to quell the disturbances.
“A number of arrests were made in the course of the evening,” said Deiner, adding that protest action eventually ceased in the early hours of Tuesday.
“Service staff were busy in all affected lecture venues early this morning, Tuesday 18 October, to clean and remove broken glass. All venues are now ready to be used,” said Deiner.
“We are extremely grateful to staff who continue to support us in keeping the academic programme running. The contribution of wardens and other staff who worked throughout the disruptions to calm their students is noted in particular.”
Deiner said the academic programme continues Tuesday.
– African News Agency