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7 UCT students arrested during fees protests released on bail

Cape Town – Seven University of Cape Town students who were arrested during fees-related protests this week were released on bail in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

All seven students were charged with violating a High Court order which was granted earlier in the week relating to unlawful protest action.

READ: UCT granted High Court interdict against unlawful protests

Two of the students were also charged with public indecency.

Lufuno Musetsho, who represented all seven students, said they had been released on R500 bail each and would be back in court on December 7.

Following an announcement on Wednesday by the university that it proposed an 8% fee increase for the 2018 academic year, about 200 people, believed to be students, attempted to disrupt academic activities at the university on Thursday.

News24 reported that police used stun grenades to disperse protesters.

Student’s passport seized

Musetsho said the students, who were all released on bail pending further investigation, were told not to take part in further illegal gatherings.

He said one of the students, an exchange student from an African country for this semester, had her passport seized by the investigating officer.

Musetsho said he would be working to get her passport back and ensure that she can return to her home country following her examinations.

The student representative council (SRC) at the University of the Witwatersrand announced on Thursday afternoon that it would be shutting down the university campus on Friday.

Hours later, the SRC released a statement saying it had consulted with students and decided against the shutdown so students could prioritise their examinations.

“The decision is final. Students should continue studying in the libraries and computer labs in order to fully prepare for exams. Exams will continue as planned,” SRC spokesperson Sandla Mtotywa said in the statement.

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