South Africa: Student Protesters Charged with Violence

South African students protest fee hike. (Google Images)

South African students protest fee hikes.
(Google Images: David McKenzie/CNN)

BBC Africa is reporting twenty-nine South Africans have been charged with public violence amid the largest student protests to hit the country since apartheid ended in 1994. The author reports:

“Police again fired stun grenades to disperse students in Cape Town, a day after protesters stormed the parliamentary complex. Thousands also descended on the governing party’s headquarters in the main city, Johannesburg.

The students are angry with a proposed increase in tuition fees. The demonstrations began last week at Johannesburg’s prestigious University of the Witwatersrand, and have since spread to at least 10 universities, forcing the closure of many of them.

On at least two occasions, police foiled attempts by the protesters to reach the headquarters of the governing African National Congress (ANC), pushing them back to their campuses. But the students regrouped and finally reached the building, named Luthuli House after South Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize laureate Albert Luthuli.

The students sang and chanted anti-apartheid songs, invoking memories of the decades-long campaign which led to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in 1994.

The ANC pulled out its election truck and seemed to be wiring a loud speaker, but the students refused to let the party’s secretary-general Gwede Mantashe address them. Instead, they gave him a memorandum outlining their demands.”

Read more at BBC News Africa.

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