The protests by Wits University students have led to the death of one person, who was shot dead by a member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) on Wednesday, 10 March 2021.
Scenes from the unrest descended into chaos as protesting students faced-off with law enforcement on the streets of Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Wits University’s Student Representative Council (SRC) is leading the demonstrations. They are outraged by the institution’s exclusion of some indebted students.
At this point, the circumstances remain unclear, however, it is believed that the man was not even taking part in the protests and merely a bystander. According to eyewitnesses who work at My Clinic in Braamfontein “the police shot the person twice at close range and then jumped over his body and fled the scene”.
Angry students from the University of the Witwatersrand have vowed to continue protesting about the exclusion of indebted students and the commencement of classes when more than 8,000 students have not yet registered due to their student debts.
Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst said paramedics responded to a shooting just after 10am. “The man went to a doctor’s room and as he came out, the police apparently fired rubber bullets to disperse protesting Wits students.
“The man was struck twice and was assessed at the scene. Unfortunately, he had succumbed to his injuries.” Gauteng police could not immediately comment on the matter.
— Wits EFFSC (@WitsEFF) March 10, 2021
Tensions are high in Braamfontein between Wits students and police. The students are angry at police following the shooting and killing of one person during earlier protests. @KayaNews #witsprotest #Witsasinamali pic.twitter.com/HDAh5nDbM6
— Kat Sekhotho (@KatSekhotho) March 10, 2021
— ma se kind (@FaroukMeintjies) March 10, 2021
#FeesMustFall #Witsasinamali #witsprotest
“Comrades we have nothing to lose, they’ve taken the land, they’ve taken the economy, they have taken everything. The only thing we are fighting for now, is the mere education” 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/Q47iP9AX90
— Xolani Ngcobo (@XolaniNgcobo167) March 10, 2021
— Dr Carey 📚 (@Carey_Pomelo) March 10, 2021
A few months ago a large group of white farmers ran riot at the Senekal magistrate’s court. The mob attacked state property, attempted to overturn a police Nyala and set alight a police van as police stood by and watched. In response, the police said fear had stopped from acting. However, Wits students who are protesting without any weapon or damaging state property have been met by a disgrace of bullets.