At least 3,000 pupils, some allegedly from the Congress of South African Students (Cosas), started a march on Johannesburg streets on Tuesday, which later became a scene for unrest and crime.
The young South Africans were initially aiming for the government to address their issues, demanding to resolve a school infrastructure backlog and calling for proper sanitation and additional actions against teachers involved in sexual harassment cases.
The march took place at the time the ANC top six meeting began, so the official event had to be suspended.
Hours later, some of the learners decided to take to the streets, turning what was set as a peaceful protest into total mayhem. They were seen looting shops and running away with a variety of items while also injuring other citizens.
“We have opened several cases of public violence,” police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said, adding that one shopkeeper received several wounds during the incident.