Home News Student dies as S. Africa university protest turns violent

Student dies as S. Africa university protest turns violent

Published on 27/02/2012

A protester died as a demonstration by students who failed their exams turned violent Monday at Walter Sisulu University in South Africa's Eastern Cape province, police said.

Irate students blockaded roads with rubbish bins and threw stones and iron rods at police after the university refused to allow students who had failed their exams to enter campus to re-take them, said police spokesman Mzukisi Fatyela.

He said one protester, a 20-year-old first-year education student, fell to his death as the crowd ran riot on the rooftops of campus buildings.

“He was crossing to another roof when he stepped on a skylight and he fell down from the sixth floor to the ground, where he died instantly,” Fatyela told AFP.

He said police fired rubber bullets to disperse the students and arrested 13 for public violence.

The incident follows another tragedy at a Johannesburg university in January, when a woman was trampled to death in a stampede that broke out as thousands tried to submit late applications for enrolment.