NPA set to prosecute Wits students

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it has decided to go ahead with the prosecution of two Wits University students who were arrested during protests on the main campus yesterday.

Zainab Patel and Chirag Janna appeared at the Hillbrow Magistrates court early this morning but were sent home around midday after they were each handed a piece of paper indicating their case had been “refused”. The two were involved in a dramatic arrest under the gaze of the media outside the Wits Origins Centre and were taken to the Hillbrow Police Station, where they were charged with public violence.

But despite walking from court today, NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw says the two will be expected back in 14 days. According to Louw, the case docket has been sent back to the SAPS for further investigation and the NPA will proceed with the prosecution after a more evidence is gathered. Louw confirmed that the senior prosecutor had dispatched the police to deliver the court summons notice to each student.

Louw says the NPA is handling the prosecution as “public violence is a criminal offence and it is our mandate to prosecute such charges”.

Patel and Janna protested their innocence on camera during the arrest which has received widespread media coverage. The arrests came on the day police and protesters clashed at Wits University resulting in SAPS using rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse students marching in Braamfontein.


To publish…

A photo of what is called a “die-in” at the Silent Protest held at Wits on August 17 was featured on the front page of the Wits Vuvuzela. As in every newsroom, the right to publish the picture or not was fiercely debated. Two of our journalists, Candice Wagener, who took the photo, and Tebogo Tshwane, who also covered the protest, state their opposing views on the decision. (more…)

Voting – step by step

Wednesday, August, 3rd 2016 is a public holiday set aside for South Africans to vote in the Local Government Elections ( click here to see if you’re registered). When you arrive to make your vote, here is what you can expect.