PORT ELIZABETH, October 4 – During an attempted hijacking incident in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, shots were fired when four suspects made their way to where Nelson Mandela University (NMU) students were protesting on the South Campus.
The students continued to protest for the second day following the violent attack of two students in a computer lab at the NMU Second Avenue Campus on Monday night. A man allegedly raped one of the students and stabbed the other with a scissors.
By mid Wednesday morning, drama broke out when shots were fired at the NMU South Campus.
The attempted hijacking had taken place in Central but a sequel unfolded when the four suspects made their way to the campus. During the commotion, shots were fired from the vehicle in close proximity to where the students were protesting. Journalists from various media houses were covering the NMU shutdown protest action.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that four suspects in a Ford Ranger were arrested on the N2 near Walmer Boulevard. They are currently being Detained at Humewood Police Station.
“An incident occurred of an attempted hijacking in Central. Men were seen in a Ford Ranger, the vehicle then rode into the South Campus at NMU where student protest action was taking place,” she said.
“The vehicle forced its way into the campus, passed the boom gates and made a u-turn. As the vehicle was riding out shots were fired at an eNCA [freelance cameraman] who was covering the protest action.”
Naidu said that the police’s K9 unit, Humewood Crime Prevention Unit and Metro Police gave chase, cordoned off the vehicle and arrested the suspects.
Naidu said that one firearm was recovered. The suspects are facing charges of pointing a firearm, attempted murder, and discharging of a firearm.
Soon after the commotion, protesting students at NMU South Campus dispersed pending feedback from university management.
Meanwhile, in a statement on Wednesday, South African Students Congress (SASCO) demanded that NMU’s head of security Derek Heubsch, be sacked.
The students have demanded that security at all NMU campuses be beefed up with immediate effect. NMU said that it was unable to open its doors due to ongoing student unhappiness.
“While the university has addressed all immediate security issues, negotiation with the aggrieved students is continuing. Additional measures are also being put in place to ensure the earliest resumption of operations.”
NMU said that its North, South and Missionvale Campus entrances were inaccessible, and staff were requested to contact their line managers regarding alternative work arrangements in the interim.
– African News Agency (ANA)