With an estimated 30 000 students already gathered at the Unions Buildings in Pretoria in support of the Fees Must Fall campaign, local relief group Gift of the Givers (GOTG) distributed supplies to protesters.
The non-profit organisation supplied students with refreshments, as well as aid for those injured during the week long student unrest.
Their vehicles were granted permission by Tshwane Metro Police to park at the corner of Stanza Bopape and Zeederberg Streets and distribute nutritional items including water, juice, biscuits and some cooked meals to those gathered at the Union buildings.
“We are treating 3 to 4 injured students an hour and 30 to 40 students a day,” says project co-ordinator, Badealam Kazi.
Amongst the cases treated by the organisation’s medical personnel were instances of cracked and bleeding skulls, fractured ribs and broken limbs. Several students were also affected by asthma and smoke inhalation due to the burning of tires and police use of tear gas.
“It was really a scary atmosphere for a while as students tried to get away from the violent action,” says journalist at Daily Vox, Aisha Dadi patel.
Protesters became increasingly concerned about their safety when the unrest led to the burning of tiers, and setting of grass and portable toilets on fire.
President Jacob Zuma on Friday announced that proposed fee increases would no longer take effect, as well as that government would seek to address a list of concerns raised by students including the long term need for free education, a lack of transformation at universities and the outsourcing of labour at the countries top institutions. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)