Student protests could destroy South Africa’s universities — Zuma

Widespread protests by South African students demanding free higher education could destroy universities, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

According to Reuters, Zuma said: “What is happening on our campuses has the potential to destroy our universities but we have the power to change that working together,” Zuma said at an education summit.

“Government is committed to do everything possible to progressively make higher education more affordable for all.”

South Africa’s online medium, Times Live had reported that as a desperately tight window for the resumption of lectures at universities around the country starts to close, students at the centre of the fees revolt are planning guerrilla-style protest tactics to disrupt lectures this week.

It said at Wits University, where students voted overwhelmingly in a poll to return to class, militant protesters plotted ways to continue the disruptions, including occupying certain campus buildings from midnight last night, while a handful suggested openly taking up arms.

Wits academics are expected to return to the campus today and lectures are to resume tomorrow under increased security.

At a meeting in the Solomon Mahlangu Hall at Wits yesterday, it was suggested that protesting students “fight fire with fire” and carry firearms.