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Varsity Students shot during violent protests

Varsity Students shot during violent protests

Postby maco » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:37 pm

Varsity Students shot during violent protests,

A first-year student who temporarily lost vision in one eye after security guards shot him with a rubber bullet during a standoff at North West University's Mahikeng campus has expressed gratitude for being still alive.

David Bonoko, 20, a bachelor of education student had mixed feelings when Sowetan spoke to him at the North West Provincial Hospital yesterday after doctors told him that his right eye might be permanently damaged.

Bonoko was one of the five students who on Wednesday were badly injured when security guards fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and teargas at protesters.

An administration building, a science centre, cafeteria and a car were set alight during the incident.

"I felt an unbearable pain in my right eye. Immediately thereafter I was blank. The next thing I was lying in a hospital bed. I guess I'm lucky to be alive, it could have been worse," he said.

Bonoko yesterday said he wanted university management to pay for what had happened to him.

"I want management to do something; they must pay me because I was shot for something I do not even know."

Another student, Katlego Masoko, 24, still had a bullet in his left buttock.

"I'm glad that this bullet was not in my spinal cord, or any sensitive part of my body. I thank God that it is in my bum.

"I was just standing and suddenly something vibrated in my bum. When I touched to check what it was, I saw blood on my hand. Then I realised that I was shot," he said.

He said he could not believe that he was shot inside the university.

"I went there to study, now I am not sure if I will be able to go inside that campus again," he said.

Students claimed cops used live ammunition, which is not allowed for crowd control. However, police have denied this.

The chaos at North West University came after the management dissolved the Student Representative Council. The institution was warned by the former SRC leaders it would see anarchy it had never seen.

Hospital spokesman David Makhoba said two students were treated and discharged.

"We admitted five students. They were all shot, some with rubber bullets and some had live bullets in their bodies," he said.

University spokesman Koos Degenaar said the campus was closed indefinitely.

"Students were advised to leave the campus immediately for their own safety. It is likely to take a considerable period of time to restore operations."

North West police commissioner Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane said a case of shooting was getting the necessary attention. "Those responsible for acts of criminality will be held responsible through judicial processes."

Motswenyane said police only used rubber bullets.

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