Africa

South African police arrest student protest leader

  • South African students dance outside Cleveland Police Station in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday Oct. 16, 2016, after a leader of university student protests for free education was arrested overnight. Mcebo Dlamini was detained during investigations into "violence, criminality, intimidation," said South African Police. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    South African students dance outside Cleveland Police Station in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday Oct. 16, 2016, after a leader of university student protests for free education was arrested overnight. Mcebo Dlamini was detained during investigations into "violence, criminality, intimidation," said South African Police. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

  • CORRECTING BYLINE IN CAPTION TO JEROME DELAY : South African students dance outside Cleveland Police Station in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday Oct. 16, 2016, after a leader of university student protests for free education was arrested overnight. Mcebo Dlamini was detained during investigations into "violence, criminality, intimidation," said South African Police. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    CORRECTING BYLINE IN CAPTION TO JEROME DELAY : South African students dance outside Cleveland Police Station in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday Oct. 16, 2016, after a leader of university student protests for free education was arrested overnight. Mcebo Dlamini was detained during investigations into "violence, criminality, intimidation," said South African Police. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • South African students dance outside Cleveland Police Station in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday Oct. 16, 2016, after a leader of university student protests for free education was arrested overnight. Mcebo Dlamini was detained during investigations into "violence, criminality, intimidation," said South African Police. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    South African students dance outside Cleveland Police Station in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday Oct. 16, 2016, after a leader of university student protests for free education was arrested overnight. Mcebo Dlamini was detained during investigations into "violence, criminality, intimidation," said South African Police. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

South African police have arrested a leader of university student protests for free education that have swept many campuses since last month, forcing some to suspend classes.

The student council of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg said on Twitter that police detained Mcebo Dlamini, a former council president, in his room at a student residence early Sunday.

Dali Mpofu, a lawyer who has assisted student protesters, said he spent an hour with Dlamini at a police station after his arrest.

South African police say they arrested a man at the university at 1 a.m. Sunday during investigations into "violence, criminality, intimidation."

The police have not identified the suspect.

Students and police have clashed at the university and in surrounding streets in the past week.