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Students to march to Union Buildings for free education

#FeesMustFall protests gripped the country after Minister Nzimande announced fee hikes for 2017.

FILE: Students arrive at the Union Buildings where President Jacob Zuma will meet with management of universities and student leaders. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - University students are expected to take their march for free, decolonised and quality education to the Union Buildings this morning.

Tshwane metro police officers say the students' application to march to the seat of government was denied but protestors have threatened to go ahead with the demonstration nonetheless.

FeesMustFall protests across the country have intensified since Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced a capped 8% hike with a subsidy for the poor and the so-called missing middle.


Tshwane metro police's Issac Mahamba says today's march will be deemed illegal.

"We might open a case against the organisers of the first march and should anything go wrong in this particular march, they might be held accountable. What we have to emphasise is that the first march was not approved. It will be categorised as an illegal march."

WATCH: The day fees 'fell'

Last year in October, President Jacob Zuma announced that there will be a zero percent fee hike for 2016 and has agreed to look at broader issues affecting university students.

The president met with student leaders and university management at the Union Buildings to resolve the deadlock that has resulted in nationwide protests.

He addressed the burning questioning surrounding the fees increases, and met the # FeesMustFall movement's demand for a zero percent fee hike.

The meeting focused on long-term issues which government agreed to look at.

These include free tertiary education, racism, accommodation problems as well as what the students have termed 'black debt'.

Zuma said a presidential task team that has been set up to investigate funding issues will now also look at these broader issues.

The president said government understood the difficulties faced by students from poor households and pleaded with all those affected to allow the process to unfold.

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