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3 buildings torched at Rhodes University

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Fires at two exam venues and the tennis club at Rhodes University have been extinguished following an afternoon of violence at the Grahamstown institution on Wednesday.

Student publication Activate editor Mako Muzenda told News24 the situation on campus had calmed down considerably after a dramatic day that saw stun grenades and rubber bullets fired.

Two exam venues, the Hangar and the Alec Mullins Hall, suffered minimal damage when fires were started this afternoon.

The blaze did extensive damage to the tennis club before it was extinguished.

Reports on social media also indicate that police earlier opened fire on student medics and that two people had been injured by rubber bullets.

Muzenda said student frustrations emanated from strict examination regulations released on Tuesday, as well as the police’s presence on campus.

Students to be patted down

According to an email sent to students, new exam rules will be “strictly enforced”.

Students were instructed to report to examination venues an hour before starting times. Venues would be locked and latecomers would not be given access.

A photo ID would be required, pockets would have to be emptied and students would be patted down before being allowed entry.

Nothing other than a plastic sleeve can be brought into the venue and no one would be allowed to exit early as the venues will be “locked down”.

Venues would also be under CCTV surveillance.

Yesterday protesters barricaded the road leading to the residences, and teargas and stun grenades were fired by police.

Muzenda said by 19:00, calm had been restored on campus and police presence had decreased significantly.

[Source: News24]
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