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Police and students battle in Joburg as education crisis spirals

South Africa

Police and students battle in Joburg as education crisis spirals

The crisis in South African higher education shows no sign of abating as clashes once again erupted between police and students in Durban and Johannesburg.

At Wits in Joburg students threw rocks, while police used rubber bullets, water canon and teargas.

The dispute is over tuition fees though racism and inequality, post- apartheid, are a factor say the students.

Sharona Patel is spokesperson for Witswatersrand University: “We’ve offered to protest and march with the students in their quests, but where we don’t agree with them is that it can happen right now and we disagree with any of the tactics which have violence, threats or intimidation involved.”

Patty Stolberg is a student involved in the protest: “The kids were just singing and then the cops make it worse, they just shoot. I was standing here and I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t run because they can see I am innocent and then they started shooting at me randomly. So I decided, obviously I’m gonna run.”

The demonstrations are part of a nationwide campaign over the cost of higher education in the country, which has risen by 80 percent in eight years.

Many black students fear they are being priced out of the education system.


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