[lg policy] S. African minister calls for end to university protests

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Mar 1 15:58:14 UTC 2016

S. African minister calls for end to university protests
Mar 01,2016

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- South African Minister of Higher
Education and Training Blade Nzimande on Monday urged university students
to end protests and return to class.

This came after Nzimande met with Police Minister Nathi Nhleko at the
University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg to discuss the role of police
during student protests.

The meeting was at one time disrupted when students shouted "Blade Must
Fall" and threatened to set university buildings on fire.

The two ministers were briefed by university management about the current
unrest on university campuses.

According to Nzimande, there was a small group that wanted to impose its
views through violence.

He said the involvement of security police was not their first choice, but
he had a duty to protect university property.

The police would assess the situation at universities before outlining each
department's next move to contain the unrest at universities, Nhleko said
after the meeting.

"We will basically conduct a review and take stock of what the situation
overall has been and what currently obtains, and how we need to find a way
of enforcing the law and re-cultivating the rule of law at our
universities," he told students.

Last week, protests erupted at several universities in South Africa for
reasons ranging from language policy and high tuition fees to accommodation
shortage and outsourcing.

During the protests, students burnt buildings and destroyed public
properties. At the University of Free State, the protest led to racial
tension when black students clashed with white students.

Academic activities have been suspended indefinitely at a number of
universities and might resume after three months.

Meanwhile, several students at the University of Pretoria have expressed
concern with the heavy presence of security on campus as lectures resumed
on Monday, following protests over its language policy.

Last year, major universities across the country were also affected by
student protests over rising tuition fees.

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