We will not abandon our students, we'll fund their education - Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed his government will not abandon students protesting against exclusion on the basis of historical debt

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on Sunday, 28 February. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Historical debt has been the hurdle in the way of thousands of students resuming their studies this year but President Cyril Ramaphosa said that his government would not abandon them, reaffirming their right to education.

The president’s comments came on the back of the Wits University student protest. Thursday entered the third day of protest against the exclusion of students who owed tuition fees.

READ: Wits student protest did not warrant that type of police response - Ramaphosa

Yesterday's protests led to the killing of Mthokozisi Ntumba, who was shot during a stand-off between police and students in Braamfontein.

Many other students across the country have marched to various places in solidarity with Wits University students.

The president went off-script during his scheduled address to the National House of Traditional Leaders, saying that the issue of education was important and remained a priority for the government.

"We will not abandon our students, we will fund their education because it is their right. They have a right to education and our government, much as we are facing enormous difficulties and challenges, we will continue to find solutions because funding education is an investment, we are investing in the future of South Africa."

Meanwhile, the North Gauteng Court has set aside the Higher Education Minister’s instruction to Unisa to reduce the number of first-time students by 20,000 this year. The EFF Student Command took Minister Blade Nzimande to court, saying that his mission was denying prospective students access to higher education.

WATCH: 'There was overreach by the police' - Ramaphosa

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