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South African president scraps university fee hikes amid protests

October 23, 2015 6:12 pm

Thousands of students gathered near the Union Buildings in the capital, Pretoria, where Zuma was due to address the protesters after he met student leaders and university officials.

Protesters tore down sections of a security fence, set fire to portable toilets and hurled bricks at police lines in chaotic scenes.

A few pushed through a cordon before being pushed back by anti-riot police who fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas at the crowd.

The president did not address the university students because of fears for his safety, state security sources said.

Instead Zuma read a short statement at a televised press briefing.

“We agreed that there will be a zero increase of university fees in 2016,” Zuma said