Get back to lectures, Zuma tells students

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has told protesting students to return to lectures, while solutions to their demands for free education are being sought.

He had established a task team of ministers who would try to ensure tertiary institutions returned to normal operations, he said in a statement on Tuesday.

He urged students, university management, parents and religious leaders to co-operate with the team to ensure that students' futures were not jeopardised.

The task team would be led by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe and include the ministers of higher education, science and technology, home affairs, justice, police, state security, and defence and military veterans.

Government "remains committed" to promoting access to higher education for the children of the poor and working class. 

Zuma condemned violence and the destruction of property and urged all students to return to lectures.

Zuma has faced criticism from opposition parties for his silence following violence on several campuses on Monday. Wits University students looted shops and set fire to a bus in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

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