UL students to continue protests until demands met

Police are on high alert following overnight running battles between officers and students.

FILE: A police officer on duty. Picture: Saps

CAPE TOWN/MANKWENG - Despite management at the University of Limpopo insisting lectures will be held this morning, students at the institution say there's no way they'll allow activities to resume while government ignores their demands.

Police are on high alert outside the university following overnight running battles between officers and protesters.

At least six students were arrested for public violence.

Police had to intervene when protesters vandalised property and attempted to burn down a building.

Some students say that they feel unsafe on campus during protests.

The university remains shut with students gathering in groups around campus.

Student protests flared up after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced that universities would set 2017 fee increases within an 8% cap.

The minister believes the current wave of student protests is a campaign to discredit the African National Congress government.

He has called on other students to make their voices heard, as their academic programmes have been affected.

"Why are you allowing yourselves to be held hostage and your careers destroyed by a minority of violent students? Is it not time for those students to stand up and say, 'Not in our name.'"

Nzimande hopes to restore calm to campuses within a week.


ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe says students who resort to violence are working against measures aimed funding tertiary education for the poor.

Mantashe addressed business leaders at the 7th Annual Big Five Investor Conference in Newlands, Cape Town, yesterday.

He's sticking to an earlier statement he made that universities should be temporarily closed while the protests are resolved.

"If you burn that infrastructure the money will be used for rebuilding that infrastructure, therefore you are destroying the course."

Mantashe adds interventions taken are being done to benefit poor students as well as those in the so-called "missing middle".