Anger after pregnant student’s arrest
Students of the Oudtshoorn campus of the Southern Cape College vented their anger at the Oudtshoorn police station in Tuesday, following the arrest of one of their fellow students, a female who are almost nine months pregnant, earlier in the day.
According to the toyi-toying students they were protesting on the college grounds before classes were to start, when the police arrived. They claim the police arrested the heavily pregnant female student because she was protesting and that she was manhandled by the police.
“We tried to stop the police from arresting her, but they put her into the van,” one of the students said. The group followed the police vehicle on foot to the station, but were denied access to the building.
“Why arrest a pregnant girl when they could have arrested any of us?” the student asked.
The group were addressed by a police captain and returned to the college where they continued their protest about several college related issues.
According to a police officer on the scene the police responded to a call on Tuesday morning informing them that students were protesting and burning tyres at the college. When police arrived, one of the students allegedly assaulted an officer. “The woman who assaulted the officer was arrested at the scene and the students became angry when she was led to the vehicle. The charge against her was being processed when the students arrived at the police station. They were refused entry, because there were other people inside the charge office who had nothing to do with the incident.”
Students have been involved in sporadic protests at the college since August. Their grievances pertain to timetables, the non-payment of bursaries, student loans as well as accommodation. The students said on Tuesday they will continue their protests until they get answers or when “our bank accounts are healthy again”.
Sergeant Gretchen Micheals, communications officer of the Oudtshoorn police, confirmed a 22-year-old women was arrested for assaulting a police officer.
“It happened at South Cape College after the students protested and burnt tyres. A case of public violence is being investigated. We cannot confirm if the student is pregnant.”
The police would not confirm if the female is still in custody.
Incensed students outside the Oudtshoorn police station on Tuesday morning.