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SASCO NMMU mobilises as eight appear in court for Boardwalk invasion attempt

SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
SASCO NMMU mobilises as eight appear in court for Boardwalk invasion attempt


Update: 08:00am - reports suggest that the arrested NMMU students have been released on R50 bail.

The South African Students Congress (SASCO) at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) on Thursday morning called on NMMU students to come out in their numbers for a possible showdown at the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court where their peers will be appearing after they were arrested attempting to invade the Boardwalk Casino and Hotel Complex on Wednesday.

"All NMMU students who reside on campus. This morning we are meeting at the Xanadu square at Seven o'clock. Shuttles will be waiting for us, we are going to the new law court where some of our comrades are appearing," SASCO said.

"Comrades off campus we will have shuttles at the city hall well. The battle is about to start."

Eight students arrested in fight for the Boardwalk

There was chaos on late Wednesday afternoon when hundreds of protesting NMMU students took the fight for free tertiary education to the streets in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, marching all the way to the Boardwalk Casino and Hotel.

After failing to rope in management in the #feesmustfall protest, the students initially agreed to be escorted by police to the university’s 2nd Avenue Campus. However, chaos later erupted when students blocked off the road by sitting in the streets, with some attempting to enter the Boardwalk entertainment premises.

The students then pelted police officers, who barred their access to the Boardwalk, with stones.

Assembled Public Order Police (POPS) fired stun grenades and used shields to disperse the students, who broke into smaller groups that still tried to invade the Boardwalk.

Eight students, five females and three men, were arrested on charges relating to public violence, the national road traffic act and for obstructing police officials and taken to the Humewood Police Station.

Students later gathered outside the Humewood Police station in support of the students, who had been arrested.

NMMU supports free education for the poor

While meeting with students on Tuesday afternoon, Acting NMMU Vice Chancellor, Dr Sibongile Muthwa, reiterated that the NMMU management supports the fight for free tertiary education for the poor

On Wednesday, she however declined the students' demand that students march through the streets of Port Elizabeth and that she leads the protest to The Boardwalk on Wednesday.

The NMMU remains closed - might be closed for the rest of the week.

March on Parliament and calls to expand the protest

Elsewhere, students at the University of Cape Town are expected march on Parliament.

There were violent scenes as thousands of students clashed with police at Wits University.

The protesting students have now called on college students to join the fight for free education. 

Protests broke out on several campuses across the country after Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Blade Nzimande's, fees increase recommendation on Monday.