Police attempted to arrest Maxwell Dlamini, President of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS), when he tried to take the lead in the protest march in the kingdom’s capital, Mbabane. He had also hoped to address the students.
Students formed a human chain around Maxwell to allow him to escape. He then went into hiding for the duration of the protest.
Swazi media reported that between 600 and 1,000 students were on the march and the SNUS said 3,000 took part. Riot police sealed off roads to stop the students reaching the city centre.
Students were protesting about cuts in the number and value of scholarships awarded this year.
Police had tried to arrest Dlamini because they say he breached bail conditions by attending the protest. He is awaiting trial on charges of illegal possession of explosive charges.