Zuma condemns university violence

2016-02-25 14:15
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PICS: Protesters disrupt student prayers at UFS

Protesters have attempted to break up a group of students who have been holding a prayer session at the University of the Free State in response to recent conflicts at the institution. View pics from the scene here.

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday condemned the violence and destruction at several universities around the country.

"The burning of university buildings at a time when we are prioritising the education of our youth is inexplicable and can never be condoned," he said in a statement.

"No amount of anger should drive students to burn their own university and deny themselves and others education. Grievances should be handled in a peaceful manner."

Zuma said the Constitution stated that everyone had the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions. Protesters had to adhere to the Constitution when protesting, he said.

There had been violence at the University of the Free State, North West University, University of Pretoria, and the University of Cape Town over the past two weeks.

Grievances included language policy and outsourcing.

On Wednesday, students set fire to the administration building at the North West University's Mahikeng campus. On Monday, spectators attacked protesters who invaded the field during a Varsity Cup match at the Shimla Park stadium in Bloemfontein. Last week, UCT students burnt paintings and set fire to a shuttle bus.

Zuma directed university authorities to attend to the grievances of students, saying government would also play its role.

He said law enforcement agencies had to arrest those involved in crime.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  university protests

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