SANCO condemns Wits University violent clashes

The South African National Civic Organisation(SANCO) on Tuesday called on Wits University Management to investigate violent clashes between protesting students and private security that resulted in alleged injury of over 10 students.

We wish to condemn in the strongest terms possible the ugly scenes captured on camera by media and in particular the conduct of the private security who demonstrated poor crowd control and violated protocol and procedures for dealing with what was initially a peaceful protest,” said SANCO National Spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu.

Mahlangu said that it was unacceptable and unjustifiable for professional private security to have engaged in violent confrontations that included stone throwing with protestors instead of apprehending those who might have transgressed university rules. “It suggest that they are either poorly trained or didn’t have an effective security plan, crowd management strategy,adequate equipment and or manpower to deal with the situation that unfolded,” he stressed in calling on the university management to terminate the services of the private security company that was involved in the altercations.

Mahlangu warned that the use of excessive force and violence to deal with the current wave of protests is likely to invite violent retaliation which might even resulted in destruction of public properties and injuries on both sides of the parties involved. He appealed to students to exercise their right to protest in a peaceful manner and to marginalise anarchists that are determined to destabilise higher education.  “We commend those universities that have announced 0% fee increases for 2017 and are exploring interim solutions while the commission appointed to investigate funding of free higher education completes its work,” he added.