Today's Big Stories

Rhodes VC calls for order after students clash with cops overnight

Despite ongoing protests, Vice-Chancellor Prof Sizwe Mabizela says the academic programme will continue at UCKAR (University Currently Known as Rhodes) following violent clashes between students and police overnight.

He says police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to bring the situation under control after protesters went on a rampage on campus.

It's alleged demonstrators vandalised university property, turned over two vehicles and invaded several residences on Monday night.

Mabizela says the university will provide adequate security measures to ensure classes continue and exams are written in two weeks time.

According to Mabizela, the university does not have the capability to deal with violent protests and requires Saps to intervene.

He confirmed that the university had not enforced a curfew, but that police took it upon themselves to make that decision.

Mabizela defended the freedom of the media to be present during altercations, after reports that student journalists were forced away by police.

There is footage of what appears to be police officers shooting at students in the dark.

While he says university management supports the call for free quality higher education for the poor, he has pleaded with student not to sabotage the academic year for others.

We are appealing that we work together so that we can get through this academic year, which is only a few weeks away.

Prof Sizwe Mabizela, Vice-Chancellor at the UCKAR

Listen to Mabizela's impassioned plea and other comments here:

Below is a statement from university management published by Rhodes student newspaper Activate:

Activate Editor Mako Muzenda describes a very different series of events on Monday evening.

She says police arrived in full riot gear while demonstrators had gathered for a peaceful mass meeting to discuss the way forward.

Following the arrest of four students, the situation escalated and police later shot both inside and outside Jan Smuts residence.

Listen to Muzenda's take on things:


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