South African police clash with students at parliament

AP News
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Posted: Oct 21, 2015 9:13 AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African police on Wednesday used stun grenades outside the parliament building in Cape Town to disperse students demonstrating against planned tuition increases.

The violence unfolded after students pushed their way through a parliament gate and scuffled with riot police. Earlier, security guards forcibly removed a group of opposition lawmakers from the parliament floor after the lawmakers, who are sympathetic to the students, disrupted debate by chanting: "Fees must fall!"

The protests are part of a wave of nationwide protests that have shut down many South Africa universities, which say they are struggling with higher operational costs as well as inadequate state subsidies.

Blade Nzimande, the higher education minister, this week proposed a 6 percent limit on tuition fee increases next year, but student leaders rejected the proposal and said they would continue their protests, South African media reported.

The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, also known as Wits, has suspended lectures and other operations for the rest of the week. It had dropped a proposed hike of 10.5 percent in tuition fees after several days of protests. Other universities had also planned increases of at least 10 percent.