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#Fees2017: Growing calls for immediate stop to violent protests

Govt says increasing of violence and destruction of property associated with student protests is unwarranted.

#FeesMustFall supporters hurl rocks at campus security standing at the Great Hall on Wits University's main campus on 11 October 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Government has called for the violent protests at South Africa's tertiary institutions to stop immediately.

It says the increasing of violence and destruction of property associated with student protests is criminal and unwarranted.

Government also says funding the crisis facing universities is receiving full attention.

President Jacob Zuma announced earlier this week that he has established a ministerial task team to assist higher education Minister Blade Nzimande to normalise the situation.

Government has reiterated its call for protesters to respect the law of the country.

Spokesperson Donald Liphoko says, "There is no need for violence and destruction of property that has become increasingly associated with these student protests. Such actions are both criminal and most certainly unwarranted as government is willing to engage in a dialogue that will reach a sustainable solution."

At the same time, the South African Communist Party (SACP) in Gauteng is calling on university students across the country to stop vandalising and burning properties in the institutions.

The organisation says free tertiary education should only be provided for the poor, but the rich should continue to pay.

The SACP says its young communist league in the province will hold a two-day seminar starting today to focus on the crisis in higher education.

Secretary General Jacob Mamabolo says by the end of the seminar - the leadership will come up with a clear way forward on an intervention to resolve the current crisis in institutions of higher learning.

"We are also disturbed that the free higher education demand is now used to destroy buildings, to burn property, destroy the infrastructure that we have. That continues to separate the demand for higher education from the historic demand for the right to learn."

The calls come as nine people have been arrested following violent protests at Wits University last night.

Two vehicles were torched and businesses vandalised after a protest which began at university's campus moved onto the streets of Braamfontein.

Wits has since condemned the violence and tightened security at its residences by imposing a 10pm curfew and restricting access for visitors.

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