The increasing violence and alleged police brutality have prompted musician and social activist Simphiwe Dana to seek an audience with Rhodes students.
Reports of violence on campus and claims of police brutality have pushed the university under the spotlight this week. The chaos has led to the arrest of some protesters by the police while some others were allegedly molested.
Evidently, a video posted to the university’s student body Facebook page threw more light on the tension on campus. The video shows the police shooting rubber bullets and dragging along; an alleged protester that they had arrested on the campus.
Watch Rhodes Students Clash With Police
Hence, Simphiwe Dana had a meeting with the student body on Thursday to gather more facts about the reports. Shortly after the meeting, Simphiwe took to Instagram to defend the protesting students. To the best of her knowledge, they were not violent in their activities and had “protested peacefully”. She also pointed out that there was a lot of “misinformation” around what went down on campus.
Simphiwe wrote in a message to protesting students;
“We met with the student body of #UCKAR Rhodes. I won’t go into detail, but I have this to say. These students were not violent, they protested peacefully. These students only wanted to be heard and their plight taken seriously.”
“Anyone who invalidates your cause has to question themselves and their motives. Free education now is a call that should be taken up by all SA stakeholders as it betters South Africa.”
She encouraged Rhodes students to keep pushing on until their voices are heard and promised to return to the university next week to meet with other stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Rhodes University management says it’s outraged at how police manhandled and shot at protesting students on campus.