Protests Over University Fee Hike Turn Violent In South Africa

“We are willing to go back to class. I mean, we are here because we want to study and get degrees,” said one student demanding free education.

Students in South Africa are protesting an increase in college tuition fees, sparking unrest at some of the country’s most prominent universities. They claim that the almost 8 percent price increase discriminates against black students with low family incomes.

Hundreds of students are marching from one campus to another, demanding free education.

The protests have disrupted classes and exams, causing the police to step in to take things under control. Private security forces are now patrolling universities to ensure the academic year goes on smoothly.

During the clashes with students, the police not only fired stun grenades and rubber bullets, but also arrested many students who were blocking off entrance to the universities.


Last year, after similar protests hit South Africa, President Jacob Zuma froze student fees. The freeze has now been lifted since university officials claim a financial crisis leads to poor academic facilities.

The rise in university fees works up to more than a 6 percent inflation rate, due to which many students will be unable to afford education. The demonstrations highlight the frustration and racial profiling black students face in the country.



South Africa’s cabinet is requesting students to remain calm and voice their concerns in a manner that is in line with the constitution. Authorities have also vowed to get hold of those involved in criminal activities during the protests.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Stringer 

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