JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma says his government supports the call by students for free education, and has called their cause noble but says there is no need for students to be violent.
Zuma was addressing the Heads of Missions Conference in Pretoria earlier today, which has brought together the country’s diplomats abroad.
Students from universities across the country have been protesting for free education for weeks now, with some demonstrations having turned violent.
Zuma says the violent demonstrations give an impression that students think government is opposed to what they are asking for.
“We’re not opposed to the call by students for free education, we support it because it’s a noble call.”
He says there is no need for violence.
“We also urge students to support the orderly process of finding solutions to this important challenge, they must not break doors that are already open.”
The president says police will ensure those who use genuine grievances of students to promote criminal acts are arrested and face the full might of the law.