Political parties: #FeesMustFall must be debated in Parliament
Parliament became the focal point of the nationwide #FeesMustFall Campaign against rising tuition fees.
CAPE TOWN - Three political parties are calling for an urgent debate in Parliament on the crisis at South Africa's universities as students who have been protesting over rising tuition fees show no sign of backing down.
Demonstrators marched on Parliament yesterday while Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene delivered his medium term budget policy statement.
The #FeesMustFall Campaign has been taken up at several universities around the country.
- EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) October 21, 2015 The Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Inkatha Freedom Party want the issue to be scheduled for debate next week.
In an unprecedented development, some of the protesters stormed the parliamentary precinct and took their cause to the steps of the National Assembly before they were forced back by police armed with stun grenades.
Those seated inside the Chamber could hear the drama unfolding on the doorsteps.
But the DA's Mmusi Maimane says there was a failure to show leadership.
"There were leaders sitting inside and they failed to respond to the students."
The EFF's Floyd Shivambu has warned the African National Congress (ANC) not to ignore the students' demands.
"They continued the arrogant approach of not meeting student's demands, I can tell you lives are going to be lost."
Nene says government is seized with finding a solution to the issue.
PARLY FOCAL POINT OF CAMPAIGN
Parliament became the focal point of the nationwide campaign.
The drama was preceded by the dramatic ejection of 17 EFF Members of Parliament (MPs) who attempted to force the postponement of Nene's speech.
EFF MPs led by Shivambu called for a postponement of the finance minister's speech because they wanted the issue around fees to be addressed first.
LISTEN: Analyst says government didn't engage students properly.
When they refused to back down, House Chairperson Thoko Didiza called the Parliamentary Protection Services to remove them.
The EFF chanted: "Recognise us first!" and "Fees must fall!"
NCOP Chairperson Thandi Modise said Parliament was not prepared for the protest.
"We were not expecting children, young people to get injured on our doorstep."
Pictures by Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.