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Protesting students held for public violence to remain behind bars until Friday

Following the shooting and killing of a man in Braamfontein during the #WitsAsinamali student protest on Wednesday, a group dressed mainly in EFF regalia causes havoc and disturbs traffic in the areas around Wits university, for a second day, demanding that fees must fall. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Following the shooting and killing of a man in Braamfontein during the #WitsAsinamali student protest on Wednesday, a group dressed mainly in EFF regalia causes havoc and disturbs traffic in the areas around Wits university, for a second day, demanding that fees must fall. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 16, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG: Four university students, who were held for public violence after protests outside Wits University, appeared in court on Tuesday.

The protesters were arrested by police, after students embarked on protest, calling on the university to allow financially excluded students to be allowed to register for the 2021 academic year.

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They appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court and were charged with public violence.

Student protesters had blockaded roads and burnt tyres during their protests.

NPA Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said two of the students had been remanded in custody, while two were released on R500 bail.

She said Siyasanga Tshembele and Sivuyile Mhafu were released on R500 bail, hours after their arrest, while two other students, Moses Leshodi and Orediretse Masebe have been remanded in custody until Friday, pending a hearing for a formal bail application.

She said the two had pending matters in Stellenbosch.

“It was brought to the attention of the State that Leshodi and Masebe have a pending case against them in Stellenbosch.

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“The State will use this opportunity to confirm this information, as well as conclude any investigation related to the bail hearing,” she said.

The NPA said they requested a postponement in court to prepare their response regarding Leshodi and Masebe’s bail application.

“The State requested a postponement to prepare its response to their application to be released on bail,” she said.

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Meanwhile, students continued to protest on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, the four police officers charged with the murder of Mthokozisi Ntumba are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.

Ntumba, 35, was the bystander who was shot dead by police as he was leaving a clinic, after he found himself caught in the middle of running battles between the police and the protesting students.

The four officers were arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate on Monday.

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They also face charges of attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice.

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