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Mantashe: Tertiary institutes must be protected at all costs

The ANC's Gwede Mantashe believes that drastic measures may be necessary to deal with student protests.

Gwede Mantashe. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - African National Congress Secretary General Gwede Mantashe believes universities affected by violent protests must be shut down, for as long as students resort to violence.

He made the remarks at textile workers union Sactwu's congress in Cape Town yesterday.

Various universities across South Africa have been forced to shut down amid ongoing protests against fee hikes.

The secretary general is of the opinion that drastic measures may be necessary to deal with student protests.

GALLERY: Protesting Wits students clash with police

"If there are violent protests then we should shut the universities. If we destroy one block, two, three and then four, by the time we return to calm there will be no university."

Mantashe adds that tertiary education institutions must be protected at all costs.

"We must protect universities and our infrastructure for the benefit of our kids and their future."

He says the destruction of university infrastructure will negatively impact all students and adds the situation at the country's campuses is worrying.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has called on those who are against the chaotic demonstrations to take a stand.