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DA urges MPs to visit universities hit by violent, disruptive protests

Students have protested at several universities in the Free State, North West, Western Cape & in KZN.

The science centre and the administration block at the North West University have been destroyed by a fire during a violent demonstration at the institution on Wednesday night. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants a delegation of parliamentarians to visits to universities hit by violent protests in recent days.

Students, calling for an end to outsourcing of workers and scrapping of tuition fees, have been protesting at several universities in the Free State, North West, the Western Cape and in KwaZulu-Natal.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana visited the North West University's Mahikeng campus last week to assess the situation after buildings were torched during violent demonstrations.

DA Member of Parliament Belinda Bozzoli says she will request the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education to visit the institutions.

"To me, when a set of institutions is in a major crisis, I think we need to step in and find out exactly what's going on. We hear multiple versions of different sources. We don't know what the truth is so we need to find out what's happening and make recommendations to Parliament."

Bozzoli adds she will also ask that Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande be summoned to the committee to explain the situation.

"I do know they are, in fact, working behind the scenes to some extent and that's very helpful. But that doesn't help the public and they don't know what's happening. And for the minister to say that he's going to pursue the issue on Twitter - this is not how you manage a major national crisis like this."

WATCH: Mduduzi Manana: We can't collapse higher education