South African police hurl stun grenades as student protesters march on parliament

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 21, 2015 9:08 AM

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades on Wednesday at hundreds of protesting students who stormed the parliament precinct in Cape Town to try to disrupt the reading of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene's interim budget.

As chaos erupted around the building, Nene, standing calmly at the podium inside the chamber, continued to read his speech, in which he outlined the gloomy outlook for Africa's most advanced economy.

The speech was delayed by 45 minutes as MPs from the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party raised multiple questions of order, arguing the budget should be delayed because of a spate of student protests over a hike in tuition fees.

Scuffles broke out as parliamentary security guards were eventually called in to remove the EFF members by force.

Many of South Africa's universities have been hit by protests, some of them violent, in the last week by students demanding that a hike in tuition fees by as much as 11 percent be scrapped.

University bosses said the increases were needed to maintain standards, and called on the government to find the extra funding.

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Writing by Ed Cropley; Editing by James Macharia)