• Warning: This video, provided by SABC, may be distressing for some viewers. The footage has been edited as a mark of respect for the deceased, who was fatally wounded in the altercation during the Wits Protest.

Stomach-churning CCTV footage has captured the chilling moment that a SAPS officer discharged his firearm into a crowd at the Wits Protest – fatally wounding a bystander in the process. Anger and outrage has filled the streets near the university campus in Johannesburg, as the peaceful demonstration was rocked by the senseless shooting.

From student demonstrations to blood spilled: Wits Protest rocked by violence

Students had been protesting about issues related to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) as well as historical debt and were calling for the registration of all students regardless of how much they owed the university. The demonstrations started earlier in the week, with students blockading roads.

Things took a much darker turn on Wednesday, though: A civilian, apparently not part of the Wits Protest, got caught up in the crowd and was shot in the fracas as police were managing the situation. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has sent a team to investigate at the scene – and this clip is likely to be scrutinised.

Watch: SAPS officer guns down bystander at Wits Protest

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Political reaction causes friction

Politicians have rushed to condemn these ugly scenes at the Wits Protest – with ANC Minister Tito Mboweni slammed for his reaction. The head of the Finance Ministry downplayed the incident ‘because it was not a student who was shot’. Julius Malema, amongst others, roundly condemned this reaction – and Mboweni has since issued an apology on his page.

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Presh JM Reporter

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