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Zuma: Small group of anarchists is responsible for torching schools

The president has written a letter saying the pattern of protests suggest there’s more than meets the eye.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma says the recent burning of schools in Vuwani, Limpopo, and the destruction of facilities at various universities are the acts of small bands of anarchists.

Zuma has written a newsletter on the African National Congress (ANC)'s website in which he says the pattern of recent protests suggest there is more than meets the eye.

Nearly 20 schools were burnt down three weeks ago in Limpopo, while a hall at the University of Johannesburg_ was torched two weeks ago._

WATCH: Mobile classes arrive in protest-ravaged Vuwani.

Writing for the the ANC Today website, Zuma says the pattern of recent protests suggests there is more than meets the eye and that the burning of schools in Vuwani is the not the act of angry residents, even when it may be in their name.

He goes on to say that the wanton destruction of facilities at various universities is more than just acts of anger and frustration of students.

WATCH: Vhavenda King backs his people but calls for an end to violence.

Zuma then says that all of these are acts of relatively small bands of anarchists and agent provocateurs.

But Municipal IQ Managing Director Kevin Allan disagrees.

He says, "We've never found evidence of the third force although there has been [a rumour] going around that there is a third force at work."

He says there is usually a legitimate grievance as the root cause of these protests.

'DESTROYING INFRASTRUCTURE WILL ONLY WORSEN THE SITUATION'

There are warnings that although South Africans have the right to demonstrate, destroying infrastructure will only worsen the situation and affect the country's economic growth.

Wits University has brought in extra security for exams after two balaclava-wearing intruders carrying gas canisters were spotted on CCTV entering the building through an open window.

Meanwhile, management at the University of Johannesburg says it will cost R1 million to repair an auditorium that was torched at its Kingsway Campus earlier this month.

Nedbank economist Isaac Matshego says these acts only divert state resources, while Investment Solutions chief economist Lesiba Mothata says, "The government is facing huge strains on its fiscus and if it continually has to draw down on unplanned expenditure, it has to be made up elsewhere. It could be made up on higher taxes."

With this year being an election year, there are fears of more violent protests.

To read Zuma's letter, _ click here_.

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