Alice SAPS condemned violent attacks by Fort Hare University students who blockaded the R63 road connecting Alice and King Williams Town on 20 August 2019. It is alleged that at about 12:00, students were seen throwing stones at motorists on the R63 near the University and further blocked the road.
The Visible Policing (VISPOL) members attended and were met by a mob of students who violently advanced to them while at the same time throwing stones at passing motorists. During the first encounter, police left the scene with the purpose of mobilising more members for backup.
Police used rubber bullets to disperse the violent crowd while backup was requested from Public Order Police. The members managed to diffuse the crowd and removed obstacles and stones blocking motorists.
The students then moved back to the campus and there were no casualties reported. The students began singing inside the campus and they did not stop throwing stones at Police.
No one was arrested during the protest but later it was alleged that four students were injured and taken to the local hospital. Two of the students were discharged after receiving medical attention while two are still in hospital in a stable condition. The two hospitalised students were advised to open a case if they wish to.
Alice Cluster Commander, Brigadier Piet Wolfaard condemn these attacks and acts of violent violence from the students. “Students are privileged with education and negotiation skills. It cannot be that whenever there are differences and demands that are not met, violence is the first option. Other amicable ways should be explored and exhausted. Whenever any protest turns violent, infringing other people’s right, police will have no option but to enforce the rule of law, “he cautioned.
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