Eleven students that were arrested after protests that wrecked the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus will have to spend the next seven days behind bars.
The 11 made a brief appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates’ Court on Friday, facing charges of public violence, interference with police operations and failure to adhere to a court order.
Upon entering a packed courtroom, the accused started singing struggle songs. Earlier, fellow students in the public gallery were warned by a police officer against causing any rowdiness in the court room.
Prosecutor Advocate Pet Davids told the court there would be additional charges brought against the 11, including malicious damage to property and that the state would be opposing bail.
Davids said the safety of other students could only be guaranteed if the accused remained in police custody, as they had already demonstrated reckless behaviour by engaging in an illegal protest.
Magistrate Miranda Boikhutso remanded the 11 in custody until September 30 for a formal bail application.
The 11 were arrested following protests at the university’s Pietermaritzburg campus on Thursday, where the students clashed with police during protests to demand a zero-fee increase. Cars were stoned and fires set alight in the university’s Malherbe residence. Police used rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
– African News Agency (ANA)