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#FeesMustFall march to Parliament in pictures

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While finance minister, Pravin Gordhan today took to Parliament where he presented the budget speech, outside the heavily guarded gates, hundreds of university students continued their call for free and decolonized education. The protest, led by Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s (CPUT) Student Representative Council (SRC), included students from all major Western Cape tertiary institutions, including the University of Cape Town, the University of the Western Cape, and Stellenbosch University.

Students congregate at CPUT Cape Town's Piazza as they await the call to begin marching. Photo: Thakira Desai
Students congregate at CPUT Cape Town’s Piazza as they await the call to begin marching. Photo: Thakira Desai
The march was off to a slow start as leadership struggled to finalized issues relating to the attire of marshals.
The march was off to a slow start as leadership struggled to finalize issues relating to the attire of marshals.
One student carried a police baton as the march kicked off. Photo: Thakira Desai
One student carries a police baton as the march kicked off. Photo: Thakira Desai

Beginning slightly later than expected, the students began the protest outside the entrance of CPUT in Keizersgracht Street at approximately 12:30pm. The students were led by the student leadership, members of the clergy and were flanked by heavily armed policemen, police vans and casspirs.

Members of the clergy led the march and created a buffer between students and police. the clergy said that their presence is to faciliatate and ensure that the protest continues peacefully. Photo: Rafieka Williams
Members of the clergy led the march and created a buffer between students and police. the clergy said that their presence is to facilitate and ensure that the protest continues peacefully. Photo: Rafieka Williams
Students carried banners citing their demands, while mostly asserting the demand for free and decolonized education. Photo: Thakira Desai
Students carried banners citing their demands, while mostly asserting the demand for free and decolonized education. Photo: Thakira Desai
Police and students stand face-to-face as the protests gets underway. Photo: Thakira Desai
Police and students stand face-to-face as the protests gets underway. Photo: Thakira Desai

Making their way through the CBD, protestors quickly arrived at the gates of Parliament, in approximately ten minutes, after they hurried through the streets chanting songs.

Student arrived at parliament to a contingent of heavily armed SAPS and Metro Police officers. Photo: Thakira Desai
Students arrived at parliament to a contingent of heavily armed SAPS and Metro Police officers. Photo: Thakira Desai
Members of the clergy patiently stood firm as they created a buffer zone between the large police contingent and protesting students. Photo: Thakira Desai
Members of the clergy patiently stood firm as they created a buffer zone between the large police contingent and protesting students. Photo: Thakira Desai

On arrival at the entrance of parliament, the students calmly awaited the arrival of minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, but were disappointed when they were met by Gordhan.

In what appeared to be a strategic move to garner support, the embattled finance minister flanked by police accepted the memorandum of demands tabled by students, but did not address the crowd.

Finance minister, Pravin Gordhan exited the gates of parliament flanked by Deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas. Photo: Thakira Desai
Finance minister, Pravin Gordhan exited the gates of parliament flanked by Deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas. Photo: Thakira Desai
Gordhan received the memorandum while flanked by armed police and his entourage. Photo: Thakira Desai
Gordhan received the memorandum while flanked by armed police and his entourage. Photo: Thakira Desai

Following Gordhan’s quick exit, students conceded to deliver a number of speeches by leaders of the movement, who represented the various institutions.

The students called upon Nzimande to address them and asserted their intent to remain outside the gates until they are provided with answers to their demands.

After a long period of standing around, singing students proceeded to burn a makeshift coffin of Nzimande, which they through over the police barricade and into the media area.

In chaotic scenes police dispersed crowds with stun grenades and numerous rounds of rubber bullets. Students retaliated by throwing bricks and bottles at police.

Following Nzimande's np-show, students proceeded to set alight a make-shift coffin, which they described as Nzimande's. The incident sparked chaotic scenes between students and police. Photo: Thakira Desai
Following Nzimande’s no-show, students proceeded to set alight a make-shift coffin, which they described as Nzimande’s. The incident sparked chaotic scenes between students and police. Photo: Thakira Desai

Students quickly dispersed into St. James, Plain and Roeland Street, which was speedily blockaded by armed police and casspirs.

Barack Street was a scene of chaos after students overturned rubbish-bins as they made their way through the CBD, fleeing police.
Barack Street was a scene of chaos after students overturned rubbish-bins as they made their way through the CBD, fleeing police.
Students made their way into side-roads within the CBD, including Barack Street, as police barricaded roads leading to Parliament.
Students made their way into side-roads within the CBD, including Barack Street, as police barricaded roads leading to Parliament.

Following the alarming scenes at Parliament, students and police made their way through the CBD, congregating at various points, which resulted in dispersed outbreaks of violent clashes.

As protests continued, businesses closed their doors, fearing looting and destruction. According to reports, a number of businesses were confirmed to have been looted during the protests.

Due to on-going clashes, the Golden Arrow bus service reportedly halted their entry into the CBD, forcing commuters to find alternate means of transport.

Clashes came to end at approximately 18:30.

VOC


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