An­ger af­ter preg­nant stu­dent’s ar­rest

Oudtshoorn Courant - - NEWS - HANNES VISSER

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.

P­ho­to: Hannes Visser

In­cen­sed s­tu­dents out­si­de the Oudts­hoorn po­li­ce sta­ti­on on Tu­es­day mor­ning.

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