History will judge those who burn schools, varsity buildings - Zuma

2016-05-20 17:34
Student burn trees on campus roads, police fired rubber bullets. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

Student burn trees on campus roads, police fired rubber bullets. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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WATCH: Zuma addresses Fort Hare at centenary celebration

2016-05-20 17:41

President Jacob Zuma addresses the University of Fort Hare for its centenary celebration. Watch.WATCH

Alice - History will judge those who burn schools, President Jacob Zuma has warned.

Zuma was speaking at Fort Hare's centenary celebrations on Friday, amid student protests. 

"Students must reflect and think... when they go all out to destroy their future and the future of their country. Burning school libraries means burning our future. Is that our aim when we burn schools? History will judge those who burn university buildings and schools very harshly," he said.

He said leaders needed to protest against those with "sinister" agendas "who want to see mayhem and undermine our hard won freedom".

Zuma said those who claimed that government only paid attention when there was violence, should reconsider. 

"Any analyst or leader who says that is completely mistaken and should reconsider his view. Such a view does not take South Africa further. There cannot be any justification for violence, especially when we have freedom of speech."

Students were protesting at the gates of the university. Police formed a human shield to barricade the area. Some students looted a VIP tent in search of food. Students had earlier made a plea for Zuma to speak to the institution's management so that they could be fed. 

Windows and glass doors at campus buildings have been ‎damaged following days of protest.

Read more on:    fort hare  |  jacob zuma  |  east london  |  education

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