South African police fired tear gas in clashes with students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday and arsonists torched a building at another campus overnight, police said on Thursday, as protests over tuition costs spread.
The protests erupted at a Johannesburg university three days ago after the government announced a rise of up to 8 percent in 2017 tuition fees – well above the inflation rate. Demonstrations over the cost of university education, prohibitive for many black students, have highlighted frustration at the inequalities more than two decades after the end of white-minority rule.
Television footage showed students hurling stones at police at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the east of the country. Police retaliated with tear gas to disperse the protesters as the two sides engaged in running battles across campus. “The students attempted to set a building on fire and were pelting motorists and police with rocks,” police spokesman for the KwaZulu-Natal province Thulani Zwane said. Read more