On Wednesday, South African police used stun guns outside the parliament building in Cape Town in a bid to disperse students demonstrating against planned tuition fee hikes.
On the ground sources have reported that the violence unfolded after students pushed their way through a parliament gate and scuffled with riot police. Earlier in the day, security guards forcibly removed a group of opposition lawmakers from the parliament floor after lawmakers, who are sympathetic to the students, disrupted the debate by chanting: “Fees must fall!”
The protests are part of a wave of nationwide protests that have resulted in the closing down of many South African universities, which say they are struggling with higher operational costs as well as inadequate state subsidies. Earlier this week, Blade Nzimande, who is the higher education minister, proposed a 6 percent limit on tuition fee increases for next year. However student leaders have rejected this proposal, stating that they will continue with their protests. The University of Witwatersrand (WITS) in Johannesburg, 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.