Police fire rubber bullets at University of Venda protesters

Police have fired rubber bullets at protesting students from the University of Venda (UniVen) on Friday.

The students were apparently protesting at the university over delayed allowances from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), a day after the university suspended lectures and requested students to vacate the campus.

Videos tweeted on Friday morning by Christopher Khanyi – understood to be a UniVen student – show police Nyalas and police on foot firing rubber bullets at fleeing protesters and at the university's buildings where some students were hiding.

In one of the tweets Khanyi wrote: "University of Venda strike for delayed allowances from NSFAS, and the police brutality at campus."

He also alleged that a teargas canister was fired through the window of a room belonging to a woman with a disability.

"This disable lady struggled to get out of her room when a teargas was shot through her window and she was struggling to breath and evade the situation, Ubuntu dololo (no humanity) SAPS in full force...... (sic)."

Lectures suspended until further notice

He also asked how they "as students" could fight back in such situations "with only papers and pens".

According to a statement posted by UniVen's acting vice-chancellor and principal Professor Jan Crafford on the university's website on Thursday, lectures have been suspended until further notice.

"Students are requested to vacate the campus by 12:00 (midday) on Thursday 02 August 2018. Students will be informed if and when classes resume. Engagement between management, NSFAS and DHET (Department of Higher Education and Training) in order to resolve the payment of outstanding allowances to students will continue," read the statement.

The university was not immediately available for comment regarding Friday's protest.

Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe would only tell News24 that: "We are in place to deal with the situation and at this stage we have not received any report of damage to property and injuries".