JOHANNESBURG– South African students protesting high tuition fees have demanded that all universities be shut until the government provides free education, Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) said on Friday.
The protests have forced Wits and Cape Town universities to suspend classes twice in less than a month and Wits was aiming to reopen on Monday after police earlier this week clashed with student demonstrators on the campus.
Wits said in a statement that it had “no agreement from the protesting students that the academic programme will continue on Monday” and that it had suspended a general assembly scheduled for midday Friday to thrash out differences.
The cost of university education, prohibitive for many black students, has become a symbol of the inequalities that endure in South Africa more than two decades after the end of apartheid.
(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Toby Chopra)