The police today clashed with half-n*ked university students protesting in South Africa over high cost of university education.
Some protesters at South Africa’s Wits University went half-n*ked exposing their breasts in protest to high tuition fees on Tuesday. The students clashed violently with police over the incident with many wounded.
According to reports, police fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and teargas at hundreds of students who marched through the university’s campus in Johannesburg, performing the “toyi-toyi” protest dance made popular during the struggle against oppressive white rule.
At least two people were arrested earlier when police moved in to enforce a court order on public gathering at Wits, whose full name is University of the Witwatersrand.
Demonstrations over the cost of university education, which is prohibitive for many black students, have highlighted frustration at enduring inequalities in Africa’s most industrialized country more than two decades after the end of apartheid.
“I am not sure free education is feasible. And I am worried about attacks on other students. It’s inflicting fear in other students. It’s not right,” said one final year law student, who was not taking part in the protest but did not want to give his name.
The square in front of the main hall on campus was strewn with spent shotgun shells and rocks after several skirmishes between police and protesters.
A police woman in riot gear hobbling from the scene with assistance from her colleagues told Reuters she had been hit in the leg with a stone thrown by protesters.
This is not the first time the students have protested over the cost of university education. Just last year, the students clashed with university authorities forcing the government to freeze fee increases and set up a commission to look into the education funding system.
The unrest boiled over again, closing some classes and universities, when the commission said on Sept. 19 that fees would continue to rise, albeit with an 8 percent cap in 2017.