Amnesty International has called on law enforcement agents to comply with national and international standards and only use force when necessary during protests. This is coming after a 35-year old man coming out of a medical centre during the Wits protest was killed in Braamfontein allegedly by police Wednesday.
The SRC posted an image of the body covered with a silver blanket with the caption: “This is how they want us. Dead and silenced. Black bodies are ALWAYS put on the line and all we just want is education and for Wits University to stop excluding black and poor individuals”.
Wits students have called on the South African Human Rights Commission to intervene so indebted students can be allowed to register as they risk financial exclusion.
They also stated that Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande must address the issues before it degenerates. Two Wits student journalists were injured while three others have been arrested.
Shenilla Mohamed, executive director of Amnesty International South Africa, was alarmed by the man’s death. He believes students have a right to express their grievances and the authorities must respect this right.
Mohamed called on security forces to guarantee students’ right to peaceful assembly, protect all bystanders and refrain from the use of excessive force.
Deputy Higher Education Minister Buti Manamela promised that those responsible for the man’s death during student protests in Braamfontein on Wednesday will be brought to justice.
Manamela said the department will endeavour to identify the deceased’s next of kin in order for them to extend their condolences.
The department has been in contact with Wits University and student leaders “to restore calm and to resolve the issues at hand”.
Wits University condemns all forms of violence.
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