Location South Africa South Africa

Wits injury toll mounts‚ includes students‚ police‚ journalists and a lecturer

Students‚ police‚ journalists and at least one lecturer were injured during running battles at Wits University (South Africa) on Tuesday.

They were hit by rubber bullets‚ trampled in the chaos‚ attacked with stones‚ inhaled teargas and suffered abrasions.

Earlier in the day ER24 confirmed taking five patients to various hospital with soft tissue injuries and a sprained ankle.

But more people were injured as the clashes intensified. They included Wits international relations lecturer David Hornby‚ News24 journalist Lizeka Tandwa and ANN7 television reporter Judith Diakanyo.

Wits medical students treated several injured protestors‚ among them former SRC president Mcebo Dlamini. Numerous people inhaled tear gas.

Footage of the clashes showed a policeman on the ground‚ being beaten by at least three students with large stones outside the Great Hall

Another video uploaded on twitter showed a policeman with blood oozing from his head.

The total number of people injured during the clashes on campus remains unclear.

Throughout the day police and students were engaged in a cat and mouse game‚ with students being dispersed and regrouping again. Led by former SRC president Mcebo Dlamini‚ the students armed with stones and sticks chanted in the university ground.

There was drama when about three officers attempted to arrest Dlamini. Students stones and the officers ran for cover‚ leaving Dlamini to go and rejoin his fellow students.

The situation appeared to be calming down until EFF chairman Dali Mphofu entered the campus. Students morale seemed to pick up and they regrouped. Some with their faces covered with scarves hurled stones at police who were firing rubber bullets and stun grenades at them.

A police vehicle was stoned and overturned. Dlamini encouraged students not to run away when police start arresting them.

He ordered students to rescue those who are being arrested by throwing stones at police. Protesting students became agitated when a lone student raised a placard with words that he wanted to go back to class.

Police had to rescue the student who was confronted by protesters. Another student‚ who was given an opportunity to address protesters‚ told them that “the only true revolutionary who could help us win this battle is mama Winnie Mandela”.

“We must ask her to come to lead this struggle.” Some female students partially undressed and with their upper bodies exposed confronted police officers.

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