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Recent articles by Wits University Student Coalition on Palestine
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"I'll remember your face, you fucker."
southern africa | repression / prisoners | press release Monday February 09, 2009 17:34 by Wits University Student Coalition on Palestine - Wits University, Johannesburg
Wits University students harassed by heavily armed SAPS uniformed men.
"I'll remember your face, you fucker" were the parting words of inspector Pretorius as he sped away from a group of more than thirty university students who had been harassed and assaulted by Pretorius and his SAPS uniformed colleagues for at least two hours. Students of Wits University and the University of Johannesburg, carrying paper placards and painted banners, were traveling by bus to a COSATU rally at the South African Zionist Federation where speeches were to be delivered. The COSATU rally formed part of a campaign of nationwide actions in support of the people of Gaza under the banner "Free Palestine, Isolate Apartheid Israel".
Heavily armed, uniformed SAPS men in unmarked BMWs forced the bus to come to a halt on Louis Botha, in Johannesburg, blocks before its destination. Using physical force, shouting in an aggressive and violent manner and intimidating student representatives with guns, they demanded the bus turn back to the university campus. Failure to comply, they insisted, would result in all students being arrested. For two hours students endured unrelenting threats and harassment, assault and offensive language with no response to calls for compromise or explanation. Finally, two officers with shotguns boarded the bus of unarmed tudents, the officers had additional ammunition and a "pistol whose name is Peter" [according to inspector Pretorius] and forced the bus to return to Wits University campus. The SAPS uniformed