Three university students in Swaziland were shot by police – two in the head – while security forces stopped a protest march against scholarship cuts.
Reports from the Centre for Human Rights and Development, Swaziland, say several other students were injured by police batons and kicks.
The students from the University of Swaziland had hoped to march to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to deliver a petition calling on the Swazi Government to pay all tuition fees and allowances for government-sponsored students. No first year students have received sponsorships this year.
The students are also continuing a class boycott that started earlier this week.
The Centre reported Xoli Mdluli, General Secretary of the university’s Students’ Representative Council (SRC) saying more than 10 police officers attacked the SRC chairperson of Kwaluseni Campus, Sibusiso Dlamini.
He said police assaulted Dlamini with batons and kicks. The students retaliated by pelting stones at the police officers in an attempt to save their colleague.
The Centre reports three students were shot with rubber bullets and several other students were injured during the confrontation. Sibusiso Dlamini was injured in the head after he was assaulted with batons.
Two of the shot students suffered severe head injuries from the rubber bullet shots.
Later, it was reported that police arrested University of Swaziland Luyengo Campus Student Representative Council (SRC) Chairperson, Bonginkhosi Dlamini.
Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Wendy Hleta, told local media, Bonginkhosi Dlamini allegedly pelted the police officers with stones and assault charges would be preferred against him. He was released and will appear in court at a date to be decided.
She also denied any students were shot by police.
ARMED POLICE STOP STUDENTS PROTEST