Chaos in Pretoria as protesting students storm Nzimande offices

African News Agency (ANA)

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Protesting university students were arrested when hey stormed the department of higher education and training in Pretoria on Tuesday. PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande had barely concluded a joint media briefing with the national Board of Convocations and Alumni when several protesting students stormed into the main entrance of his department’s offices.

Security quickly closed the main entrance on the ground floor but a few students were already in the building. Several officials tried to persuade the students to leave but to no avail. Moments later, several police officers arrived and bundled some of the protesters into police vehicles.

Members of the Tshwane Metro Police blocked traffic on Francis Baard Street as members of the SA Police Service forced the students to evacuate the building.

Some of the protesting students accused the police of heavy-handedness.

“We haven’t broken anything. Is this how a democratic government reacts to protesting students? We have come to tell Blade Nzimande to start acting accordingly. Otherwise when we come back, we will be nasty,” threatened an information technology student who only identified herself as Nhlapo.

Lessons have been suspended at several Pretoria university campuses including the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria following scuffles on Monday when students protested over looming fee increases.

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