Zuma studying report into feasibility of fee-free higher education

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is studying the final report of the commission investigating the feasibility of fee-free higher education and training in South Africa, the Presidency said on Thursday.

"The chairperson of the commission, Judge Jonathan Heher, presented the report to the President at his Genadendal residence in Cape Town," spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said in a statement.

After studying the report and its recommendations, Zuma would make it available to the public.

The commission was established after university students from across the country embarked on a violent nationwide Fees Must Fall protests toward the end of 2015.

They were demanding free education following the proposed 2016 fee increments.

A number of students were arrested during the protests which saw some university infrastructure being damaged and torched.

Fees Must Fall activist Mcebo Dlamini is one of the students whose case is still pending.

READ: Fees Must Fall activist Mcebo Dlamini's lawyer admitted to hospital

He faces charges of violating a court order, public violence, assault, theft, and damage to property.

He briefly appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday and his case was postponed to September 7.

By April 2016, the department of higher education said the protests had resulted in over R300m in damages.

The department's minister, Blade Nzimande, revealed in Parliament that 14 universities had submitted damage reports.

Zuma established the commission in January 2016, with an expectation to complete its task within eight months.

"However, after the amendment of its terms of reference, the commission was granted an extension to complete its work by June, 30, 2017," Ngqulunga said.

Zuma expressed his gratitude to Heher and all members of the commission for the work done "that ensured the successful conclusion of the work of the Commission.

"He all the witnesses and stakeholders in higher education for their contribution and participation in the commission," he said.

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