Powerful #FeesMustFall images from South Africa

Location: Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa

On assignment for Forbes Africa Magazine  to cover the #FeesMustFall campaign

We went expecting drama, and we got it. On the back of the growing #FeesMustFall campaign, thousands of University students protested on the banks of the Union Buildings in an effort to reduce fee increases which were set to rise as much as 10%.

As the bangs of of stun grenades met the cheers of students taunting police, Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa, met with University officials and student leaders to negotiate terms. It was a case of too little too late as an isolated group of 50 students ran riot, fueled by frustration, setting toilets, cars and tyres alight. The group tore down the fence blockading the national landmark and pelted police with wrenches, rocks and pretty much anything they could find.

By the time tear gas canisters were launched into the air, the president was to announce that an settlement of a 0% fee increase for 2016 was reached. The crowd was yet to be informed.

The scene was bizarre. Among all this violence, the atmosphere beyond was light hearted and  relaxed.  I caught a number of students, standing next to the inferno, with people launching projectiles over the fence,  posing for selfies.

It was unfortunate that the thousands of other students, who were for the most part peacefully attending the protest, were caught in the peppery gas. In my view, the crowd was dispersed in the nick of time: I had seen three students preparing petrol bombs from an the abandoned generator left behind by the TV. Things could have gotten far worse.

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-11

“This was the moment the police line broke and all hell broke loose” says Photojournalist @jaycaboz on his photo taken today at the #UnionBuildings #FeesMustFall protests. This on the back of President Jacob Zuma agreeing to a 0% fee increase for 2016.

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-2

A small group of students led the violence outside the Union Buildings. The tension grew as the crowd got bolder, beginning with burning tyres and throwing projectiles.

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-3

Students then grabbed toilets and set those alight.

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-4

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-5

Among the bizarre, were students posing for selfies while behind them more fuel was fed to the inferno.

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-6

More posing for the camera, while the smoke engulfs the hill.

 

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-8

Illustrating my point. Here are students standing with a placard…

 

 

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-9

…next to them are other students throwing rocks at the police.

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-10

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-12

This was the moment the police line broke and all hell broke loose. After a wave of rocks, wrenches and bottles were thrown at them the police were forced back. Seconds later, the razor wire barrier came.

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-13

After the students gained their foothold they began to destroy the police vehicles, ultimately leading to the tear gas.

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-14

#FeesMustFall_Jay Caboz_Union Buildings-15

Students flee from the tear gas.

 




 

 

Advertisements

Thursday September 11, 2014 14h49s25 – Judgement Day

IMG_3906-3

Thursday September 11, 2014 14h49s25 – Judgement Day

Oscar Pistorius is shepherded through a throng of hundreds of journalists after exiting the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius spent hours in the dock listening to Judge Thokozile Masipa as she deliberated over the case in which Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

In a packed court room Masipa announced that Pistorius could not be found guilty of murder, but stopped short of announcing whether he would be found guilty of culpable homicide.  He would have to wait another day to hear Masipa’s conclusion.

“The state didn’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that Oscar Pistorius is guilty of pre-meditated murder. There are just not enough facts to support such a finding” says Judge Masipa.

While millions tuned in to watch the verdict live on television, hundreds more gathered outside the court in the hopes of glimpsing the Paralympic Gold Medallist as he made the dash to his car.

Among the throng were members of the ANC Woman’s League baying for a harsher punishment.  Others cheered as he left, satisfied with the seeming outcome of the verdict.

Published in: Forbes Online

WP_20140912_001

EFF protest against R600,000 IEB deposit

IMG_3345-2

While Oscar Pistorius stood in the Pretoria High Court, members of the EFF party gathered half a block away to protest the South African election boards’ R600,000 candidate deposit fee. the up-and-coming elections will be contested in May this year.  Standing in the pouring rain the EFF cleverly made use of the international media, present for the trial.
In their view, the fee is a means of gate keeping smaller parties from participating in the elections. Shot at 1/1000 f4 ISO 1600 at 24mm