- Title: Police fire stun grenades to break up South African student fees protest
- Date: 4th October 2016
- Summary: STUDENTS SINGING MORE OF STUDENTS SINGING WITH POLICE WATCHING OVER THEM
- Embargoed: 19th October 2016 09:15
- Keywords: South Africa Johannesburg President Jacob Zuma protest students university
- Location: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- City: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA00252L9ZD3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Police fired stun grenades to disperse students protesting at a Johannesburg university on Tuesday (October 4), as nationwide demonstrations over high tuition fees entered their third week.
Fewer than 100 students had gathered and started singing outside Wits University's main hall before officers moved in to enforce a ban on public gatherings, said witnesses.
Police and private security guards in riot gear massed in the city-centre campus through the morning. Police said two students were arrested at Wits - full name, the University of the Witwatersrand - for public order offences.
Demonstrations over the cost of university education, prohibitive for many black students, have highlighted frustration at enduring inequalities in Africa's most industrialized country more than two decades after the end of white-minority rule.
Protests first erupted last year, then subsided as the government froze fee increases and set up a commission to look into the education funding system.
The unrest boiled over again, closing some classes and universities, when the commission said on September 19 fees would continue to rise, albeit with an eight percent cap in 2017.
President Jacob Zuma warned on Monday (October 3) the protests could destroy universities.
"What is happening on our campuses that at present has the potential to destroy our universities, but we have the power to change that - working together," Zuma said at an education summit.
"This is not the time for grandstanding of one sector portraying itself as being better than others. It is a period of sound leadership from all of us to find lasting solutions," he added.
University authorities across South Africa have warned any further fee freezes could damage their academic programmes.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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