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Cosatu backs student protests on university fees

Wits students marched on Cosatu House this afternoon and delivered a memorandum calling for support.

Outside Wits University on 23 September 2016 where students were protesting against an increase in fees for 2017. Picture: Twitter ‏@naztyboy.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says the trade union federation is on the side of protesting students.

Wits students marched on Cosatu House this afternoon and delivered a memorandum calling for support as part of the nationwide Fees Must Fall protests.

#Fees2016 WATCH Wits students deliver memorandum to Cosatu. CM pic.twitter.com/8nu6A2YXZH



The demonstrations erupted on Monday shortly after the Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that tuition fee hikes will be left to individual varsities, with a ceiling of eight percent.



Wits University students have made their call clear.

"We are pleading with you to act, to stop normalising an abnormal and unjust reality. We want you to make a call to the working class through Cosatu being the largest trade union federation in the republic of South Africa with a long history of involvement in the civil society," said one student.

Cosatu General secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali says they stand with the students.

"We are working with the students; we don't want to take a decision without their involvement. We will be meeting with their leadership and thereafter we will be able to communicate and indicate exactly in practical terms where we stand on these issues."

While the federation says talks are underway to join students in a national March, it wants them to divert their demands from government to the private sector.

#Fees2016 WATCH students nearly exchanged blows. Those who wanted Vavi out have been taken out of hall. CM pic.twitter.com/VtgZH7XA7f



#Fees2016 WATCH some students say their struggle is being politicized. They ask why Vavi is here. CM pic.twitter.com/6MxIsUXVF9



#Fees2016 WATCH students nearly exchanged blows. Those who wanted Vavi out have been taken out of hall. CM pic.twitter.com/VtgZH7XA7f



#Fees2016 WATCH some students say their struggle is being politicized. They ask why Vavi is here. CM pic.twitter.com/6MxIsUXVF9



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