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#FeesMustFall: Public support continues to grow

Equal education says it's provided legal aid to CT students who have been apprehended.

FILE: Protestors walk along main road, halting traffic briefly before turning up to lower campus again. Police presence remains. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Equal Education says it will rally behind students this week to stop the proposed increase in tuition fees at universities across the country.

More institutions have joined protests with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology pledging its support earlier today.

While Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has met with the management of various universities, Equal Education has urged government to take more deliberate steps at solving the problem.

Earlier today, Nzimande announced the decision to cap next year's tuition fee increases at six percent.

The decision was taken at a meeting of heads of universities and other stakeholders in Cape Town.

Nzimande said a task team will have to look at the issue of tuition fee increases.

The urgent meeting called by the minister has given rise to a proposal that could bring an end to student protests.

Equal Education insists that the hike in fees will have dire consequences for pupils from township and rural schools.

Spokesperson Tshepo Motsepe says government and Nzimande have become 'gate keepers' of an unjust system.

"They are gatekeepers of a system that continues to butcher many black students across the country. If you go around any township or rural village, the majority of young people who are black are still loitering around the streets of the areas in which they are in."

The organisation has also condemned a recent attack from a motorist who allegedly tried to ram through a student barricade on Empire Road near Wits University on Monday.

One student was apparently injured.

Motsepe says " Equal Education condemns in the strongest terms all the violence that has been directed at the progressive student movements, both from private individuals and the state."

The organisation says it's in the process of providing legal support to students who have been arrested.

A march is expected to take place at UCT and WITS on Thursday.

PUBLIC FIGURES JOIN PROTESTS AT WITS

Meanwhile celebrities today joined Wits University students who blockaded roads for most of the day.

Jazz singer Simphiwe Dana was among some of those who joined protests.

After much convincing, rapper AKA agreed to show support.

Students also received food and water supplies from the general public.