- Title: South Africa's police clashes with students as Zuma reexamines fees issue
- Date: 11th October 2016
- Summary: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (OCTOBER 11, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF STUDENTS DANCING AND SINGING ON WITWATERSAND UNIVERSITY CAMPUS STUDENT'S HAND HOLDING ROCK MEDIA INTERVIEWING WITWATERSAND UNIVERSITY SPOKESPERSON, SHIRONA PATEL (SOUNDBITE) (English) WITWATERSAND UNIVERSITY SPOKESPERSON, SHIRONA PATEL, SAYING: "From Wits' side, we have three things; the one is we want to finish the 2016 academic year. We've put in place contingency plans to extend the year by two weeks and to write exams and then lastly we are saying that the only ... the option of last resort is basically if we have to shut down at the end of it - that would be unfortunate for everyone. It means we are playing with the lives of 37,000 students at Wits who may lose their funding, their financial aid, their scholarships, their bursaries and it could mean we can't take in new students..." VARIOUS OF ARMED POLICE MARCHING ONTO THE WITS CAMPUS STUDENTS RUNNING UP FLIGHT OF STAIRS, ONE THROWING A ROCK STUDENTS RUNNING IN CONFUSION PAST CAMERA / STUDENTS IN BACKGROUND THROWING ROCKS SCATTERING OF PROTESTERS, POLICE AND MEDIA WALK ACROSS CAMPUS SQUARE, SMOKE DRIFTING ACROSS, AUDIO OF RUBBER BULLETS BEING FIRED STUDENTS IN DISTANCE RUNNING POLICE ADVANCE WITH POLICE VEHICLE, FIRING RUBBER BULLETS TIGHT GROUP OF POLICE WALK DOWN STAIRS POLICE MOVING FORWARD, ONE FIRING RUBBER BULLET STUDENTS WITH HARD HATS AND WIELDING SHIELDS FALL BACK POLICE USING WATER CANNON (SOUNDBITE) (English) WITS STUDENT, PATTY STOLBERG, SAYING (AUDIO AS INCOMING): "I don't like that it that they are vandalising things just to throw rocks - which is what I witnessed. However, I feel like the cops do also influence and also contribute to the violence - they provoke it. They … the kids were just singing and then cops are gonna make it worse, they just shoot. I was standing here and I was thinking maybe I shouldn't run because they can see I'm innocent and then they started shooting at me randomly. So I decided, obviously I'm gonna run." VARIOUS OF POLICE WALKING THROUGH THE CAMPUS STUDENTS SHELTERING BEHIND THEIR SHIELDS WOMAN SHOUTING AT POLICE (Xhosa): "What did we do to you? We are sitting peacefully and then you just spray us with water cannon for no reason." - PLEASE NOTE THIS SHOT IS DUPLICATED IN ERROR ANOTHER WOMAN SHOUTING AT POLICE VARIOUS OF POLICE CHASING CRYING STUDENTS AWAY
- Embargoed: 26th October 2016 14:22
- Keywords: education campus wits university Witwatersand protest police Johannesburg South Africa fees
- Location: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- City: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA00153K9X6V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO PART AS INCOMING
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: SHOT 18 IS DUPLICATED IN ERROR
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma formed a ministerial team to help bring an end to weeks of clashes at university campuses between police and students demanding free education, the presidency said on Tuesday (October 11).
The announcement came as police clashed sporadically with student protesters at the University of the Witwatersand (Wits) in Johannesburg.
Wits was hit by violence on Monday (October 10) after reopening following angry protests that forced its closure last week.
A Wits spokesman said on Tuesday that contingency plans had been put in place to conclude the 2016 academic year and that a further closure of the university would be a last resort.
The South African government, grappling with a budget deficit equivalent to nearly 4 percent of economic output, says education subsidies should not be paid for at the expense of other sectors of the economy such as health and housing.
It has also said 2017 university fees may rise by up to 8 percent.
The team set up by Zuma consists of eight government ministers, but the main opposition Democratic Alliance party criticised Zuma, for excluding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
"At the heart of the crisis is the chronic under-funding of higher education over the last decade," it said in a statement.
Zuma's government has said it will continue subsidising university costs for the poorest students but could not afford free education for all.
The Wits Student Representative Council said in a statement that they would be continuing the struggle for free education.
Some students are demanding all universities be shut down until the government provides free education.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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