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South African Student Protests Over Tuition Turn Violent

Image: South African Student Protests Over Tuition Turn Violent

South African police clash with Witwatersrand students. (MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 23 Sep 2016 10:37 AM

South Africa student protests over higher college tuition have spread around the country, shutting down campuses and turning violent.

Many of the students are demanding free education while the government plans to increase tuition by as much as eight percent in 2017, reported the BBC News. Black students with low family incomes will be hurt most by the tuition increases, say protesters.

Police arrested 31 students in Johannesburg, where the University of Witwatersrand has been the epicenter of the student-led protests.

The University of Bloemfontein and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth have been closed because of demonstrations, and the University of Cape Town suspended classes after students there barricaded entrances with garbage cans.

 

Reuters said television video caught students throwing rocks at police at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the east portion of South Africa. Police answered with tear gas to break up the protesters.

"The students attempted to set a building on fire and were pelting motorists and police with rocks," Thulani Zwane, a police spokesman for KwaZulu-Natal province, told Reuters.

South African Broadcasting Corp. said students appeared divided by some efforts to protest the high fees. At Mandela University, one student representative was kicked out of a meeting being held to plan a mass action.

Student Representative Council president Nicholas Nyathi called for unity among students in the protests, noted SABC.

"What we must express as the SRC is that we have led a peaceful shutdown for the past two days, where we genuinely expressed our call," Nyathi said. "The call of the majority of the student population remains genuine, and we will not let it be tainted by a violent few."

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South Africa student protests over higher college tuition have spread around the country, shutting down campuses and turning violent.
south africa, student, protests, tuition
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2016-37-23
Friday, 23 Sep 2016 10:37 AM
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