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South Africa police fire rubber bullets to disperse protesters at Rhodes University

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He describes the chain of events that led to the arrest of five students and a clash between police and protestors.

The protest, at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, came after a list of male students and workers at the university accused of raping women students was released on social media.

Naledi Mashishi of the Students Representative Council told Times Live they will only stop if they are assured “no protester will face disciplinary action or be otherwise penalised for participating in the protests”.

Ntshingila says the protest has been peaceful, and so the reason for the arrests is not clear.

Many say the onus is on them to prove to the university that they have been raped, and this has to change.

A group of students have also confronted a lecturer, who called the police, accusing him of wanting to instigate violence.

I was pleading with the police that they release them because with students being arrested it may just escalate this whole situation in the university which is not what we want“.

His response comes a day after hundreds of Rhodes University students went on the rampage searching out residences for listed on alleged rapist list that emerged at the institution.

“Police started shooting us with rubber bullets and used pepper spray”.

Earlier on Tuesday a video began circulating on social media depicting Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela shoving a student in an attempt to remove the barricade placed at the entrance to the university. “They didn’t say anything then, but now they’re giving us issues”.

A third-year student is enraged by the inaction of university management and the police presence on campus. People are being carried in stretchers and he knows nothing about it. The demands called for changes to the university’s rape policy, including a request that the definition of rape be reviewed and the burden of proof removed from victims. “They man-handled students and put them in the police van”, she said.

The hashtag #RUReferenceList-referring to the list of alleged sexual assailants-has been trending in South Africa in recent days and a number of female students undertook a topless protest at the university on Tuesday, with some scrawling messages such as “My body” on themselves to highlight what they believe to be a lack of scrutiny into allegations of rape and sexual assault.

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