NEWS

UFS Students Arrested After Unrest

At least 46 have been arrested so far.

21/10/2017 14:49 SAST | Updated 21/10/2017 14:49 SAST
Bill oxford

Forty-six University of the Free State students have been arrested since Thursday evening, following the latest protest action over fees.

UFS spokesperson, Lacea Loader, said 36 students were arrested on the Bloemfontein campus late on Friday afternoon after a group of students clashed with members of the private security company and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

These arrests follow after six students were arrested for arson on the Qwaqwa Campus on Thursday evening.

Four students were also arrested on Friday morning for contravening the Interdict by causing disruptions at the Computer Labs and UFS Sasol Library.

"The situation on the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses of the University of the Free State (UFS) is calm today, and no disruptions occurred during the course of last night," she said.

Loader said security measures were in place and the situation on both campuses was being monitored closely.

"The executive management met with the Bloemfontein Campus Student Representative Council (SRC) this morning to discuss the arrest of students, as well as the disruptions of academic activities that happened on campus since Wednesday," she said.

WATCH: Fire extinguishers discharged, windows broken during UFS fees protest

"The safety of both staff and students remains a priority to the executive management. Staff and students on both campuses are requested to stay calm and to focus on the coming examinations and completion of the academic programme for the year," said Loader.

Loader said measures had been put in place to ensure that the exams would go ahead as planned.

"The university crisis team – including members of the executive management and Protection Services – is on alert and are working to stabilise the situation on the two campuses," she said.

Loader also cautioned about fake news and miscommunication taking place on social media – especially about the coming exams, and advised students to rely on the university's official communication platforms.