Zuma meeting with students, universities begins

2015-10-23 12:11

WATCH: Students in Joburg, Pretoria begin travelling to the Union Buildings

2015-10-23 09:27

University of Pretoria students are in an electrifying mood as they prepare to march to the Union Buildings.WATCH

Pretoria - The meeting between President Jacob Zuma, student leaders and the management teams of various universities to find a solution to the impasse of rising university fees began at the Union Buildings on Friday, as fee protests continued gripping campuses around the country.

According to the SA Government News Agency, the meeting began shortly before 11:30.

The meeting was taking place as protesting students arrived in their thousands for a demonstration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday.

Student numbers continued to swell and calm gradually took hold at the front of the fence, as students broke out into song.

Preparations began at campuses in Pretoria and Johannesburg on Friday morning, with Pretoria students marching to the seat of the Presidency and those in Johannesburg travelling to the capital by bus.

When they arrived at the Union Buildings, students were greeted by a fence with police behind it on the south lawn, preventing access to buildings ahead of them.

Those at the front showed their anger at a fence being in their way, attempting to break it down in one section, with police and colleagues of theirs dressed in riot gear keeping watch on the section focused upon by students.

Students were also seen climbing on the statue of Louis Botha on the Union Buildings lawns, with vuvuzelas and singing heard on the lawns.

Helicopters were seen flying overhead, with a heavy police and metro police presence at the buildings at the top of the lawns.

Those travelling from Johannesburg were on their way, singing songs and clapping as they travelled up the N1 highway.

The demonstrations were sparked last week by Wits University students, who blockaded the entrance to the Johannesburg university's campus after the institution indicated it would raise fees by 10.5% for 2016.

Demonstrations later spread to Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University, the University of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, the University of Pretoria, the University of the Free State, the University of Limpopo, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Tshwane University of Technology, including its campus in Mbombela, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the University of the Western Cape, Walter Sisulu University, the University of Johannesburg and the University of Fort Hare.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  education  |  university fees  |  protests

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