University of Pretoria students resume protest

University of Pretoria students resume protest

Hundreds of University of Pretoria (UP) students gathered in the campus amphitheatre on Thursday morning, charting the way forward as protests against the mooted fee hikes for next year continued to gather momentum.

Tuks 22/10/2015

Protest leaders addressed the students, calling on them to “occupy” Burnett Street in Hatfield, near the campus.

The students were expected to leave campus at midday.

As the numbers of students swelled in the amphitheatre, they broke into song and dance.

The students also discussed an upcoming meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma, scheduled for Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, the Presidency said Zuma would meet with university leaders as well as student leaders, in a bid to end the nationwide protests against university fee hikes.

According to a statement released by the Presidency, Zuma would hold the meeting at the Union Buildings in Pretoria “to discuss the stalemate with regards to university fee increases”.

South Africa on Wednesday saw multiple protests at many of the country’s universities as well as clashes between police and students outside the nation’s parliament.

“It is important that we work together to find solutions. Nobody disagrees with the message that students from poor households are facing financial difficulties and possible exclusion,” Zuma was quoted as saying.

“Even in the January 8 statement of the governing party this year, we stated that the escalating cost of university education had become another source of exclusion for the poor and vulnerable South African child.

“All parties should allow space for this matter to be discussed in a manner that will enable us to find a solution,” said the President.

On Wednesday, Fidelity Security Services guards manning the UP campus ran for cover as more than 1,000 students marched against the proposed fees hike.

The security guards were joined by UP security officials as they ran towards the administration block. They could be seen speaking on two-way radios, behind locked glass doors inside the administration block.

The students did not chase the fleeing guards. - ANA

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