So. Africa: Private security companies and police accused of using violence against protesting students across the country; NGOs condemn “extreme use of force”

So. Africa: Private security companies and police accused of using violence against protesting students across the country; NGOs condemn “extreme use of force”

Private security companies hired by various universities across South Africa have been accused of using violence against protesting students. Police have also been accused of “brutality” against protesting students. University management at the University of Johannesburg condemned the private security guards’ behaviour towards protesting students and promised to meet with the security company over the alleged attacks on students and journalists. Human rights organizations which include, Equal Education Law Centre (EELC); Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI); Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR); Right2Know Campaign (R2K); Social Justice Coalition (SJC) have condemned the extreme use of force by the private security companies as well as the police.

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Article
3 October 2016

NGOs condemn “extreme use of force” by police and private security companies during students protests

Author: Right2Know (South Africa)

“South Africa: Statement On Violent Clampdowns At #FeesMustFall Protests”, 3 Oct 2016

[In a statement, the NGOs said]…In the past weeks we have been seriously concerned about widespread reports of peaceful student protests across the country being met with repression and intimidation…We are especially concerned about violence that has been meted out on student protesters, and now also journalists, especially by private security who are not accountable to the public. The conduct of the authorities and private security has already deepened tension and conflict, and escalated the responses from many protesters…Endorsed by: Equal Education Law Centre (EELC); Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI); Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR); Right2Know Campaign (R2K); Social Justice Coalition (SJC)

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Article
3 October 2016

Private security company guards allegedly attack protesting students and journalists at the University of Johannesburg; university management condemns attacks

Author: Clement Manyathela, Eyewitness News (South Africa)

“UJ Condemns Attacks on Students & Media by Prvate Security”, 30 Sept 2016

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has condemned attacks on students and the media by private security following protests…Videos posted on social media show guards charging at demonstrators who were singing, while marching towards one of the gates at the UJ campus…

[University management said they would meet with the security company over the attacks]

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Article
22 September 2016

Private security company accused of using violence against protesting Wits University students

Author: Clement Manyathela, EWN (South Africa)

“Police Monitoring Wits Following Student Protests”, 21 Sept 2016

There [was] a clean-up operation at Wits University this morning following violent clashes between private security and protesting students that lead to some windows and the entrance door of a hall being smashed…Wits University spokesperson Shirona Patel [said] ““We’re reviewing the footage to try and find those people who were involved in the violent acts. Similarly, we understand that private security was also involved in the throwing of stones outside the Great Hall yesterday. We’re taking up that matter with the security company. It’s unacceptable.”…At least 31 students have been arrested…Late yesterday, Wits students and private security on campus clashed, pelting stones at each other, with rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas being used by security…

[Wits University is reported to have changed the security company in question]

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