No need for violence - Zuma

2016-10-19 06:09
Riot police and security guards confront students during protests at UKZN’s Westville campus in Durban

Riot police and security guards confront students during protests at UKZN’s Westville campus in Durban (Supplied)

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Pretoria – There was no need for students to break down the doors of learning when these were already open, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

“There is no need for violent protests which give the impression that government is opposed to students,” he told ambassadors and high commissioners at the Heads of Mission conference in Pretoria.

The country’s leaders supported and were sympathetic to the students’ cause. He urged students to allow various groups time to find solutions.

Government needed to ensure that universities completed the 2016 academic year while seeking medium- to long-term solutions.

Zuma urged those in attendance to come up with ideas of how South Africa could resolve the impasse over calls for free higher education.

Repeating comments made by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe in August, Zuma said the ANC-led government had gone beyond the goals for higher education the ANC set down in the Freedom Charter. In it, the ANC called for access to higher education through merit, while the government helped anyone in need.

He however warned those responsible for the violence and destruction of property on campuses. Students should not allow people to hijack their noble cause for the wrong reasons. He asked police to continue doing their jobs at institutions of higher learning.

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

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