ANC’s Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is joining protesting Wits University students who were marching to the ANC’s Luthuli House this afternoon.
On a Facebook page that apparently belongs to the late former president Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife, she said: “I will be joining my children in Protest at Wits today. Rhodes [University] Tomorrow and NMMU [Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University] on Friday. Let us see if the police will shoot with me in the front line. I dare them to.”
It was posted around 1:00pm on today.
As thousands of students made their way through the streets of Johannesburg, cars hooted and bystanders cheered in support of them.
Police monitored the crowd.
Rivonia trialist Ahmed Kathrada said earlier at the university: “I am here to support students – they are fighting for a good cause. They also have courage and discipline.”
There was confusion earlier when protesting students from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) went to Wits to meet students there for a joint march to Luthuli House.
The Wits protesters apparently did not want to march at that time, and the UJ students turned back and later began protesting outside the entrance to their institution.
Some, however, did return to Wits when its students eventually decided to march to Luthuli House.
On Wednesday afternoon, a nationwide protest by students against increased fees came to a head when protesters stormed the Parliament precinct while Finance Minister Nonhlanhla Nene was delivered his mid-term budget.
The protesters clashed with police, who eventually used stun grenades to force them back out.
Several protesters were also arrested, including the sons of UCT Vice Chancellor Max Price and ANC stalwart Frank Chikane.
Twenty-nine protesters, most of them university students, were released on a warning on Thursday and their case postponed to February next year.
The protest action began last week Wednesday, with Wits University students protesting against a proposed 10.5% fee hike for 2016. Other institutions joined in this week.