Student who were arrested earlier today as part of the Fees Must Fall protest that took place at Wits University will not be prosecuted for their charges and will be released.
The group of 31, who mostly belong to Men’s Res, are being held at the Hillbrow Police Station as they await their release, which is expected to be at 4pm today.
The protesters were arrested for “contravening a court interdict,” according to the Hillbrow Police Station’s spokesperson Mduduzi Zondo. The court order prevents anyone from obstructing the entering or exiting of any person, “or any of its buildings, facilities, residences, halls, classrooms and the like”.
Vuyani Pambo, a member of the Wits Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), said that he could not supply the names of the arrested students. However, he could confirm that Koketso Poho, chairperson of the Wits EFF, was part of the group who were arrested and was injured in the process.
“Once all the 31 students were processed, then the dockets were taken to the senior prosecutor for advice to see if they would prosecute on the case,” said Florencia Belvedere, an attorney from Lawyers for Human Rights whom is working on the case.
Belvedere said that the senior prosecutor then agreed not to prosecute and agreed to allow the students to be released.
“The issue remains however whether there is some grounds to carry the court order because today the students are released but tomorrow, they demonstrate again and we could be back here again,” said Belvedere.