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South African students arraigned for violent protest

Six students appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday to face charges of treason, assault and contravening the National Key Points Act.

The students were arrested during a violent protest against tuition fee hikes outside parliament on Wednesday.

Dozens of people were gathering outside the court to show their support for the students.

Police filed the lawsuit accusing the six students of high treason which consists of any conduct unlawfully committed by a person owing allegiance to a state.

This includes the intention of overthrowing the government, coursing the government by violence into any action or inaction, violating, threatening or endangering the existence, independence or security of the republic and changing the constitutional structure of the republic.

In Wednesday’s protest, thousands of students assembled outside parliament, demanding a zero increase in proposed 2016 tuition fees. They clashed with police when trying to break into Parliament. Police used stun grenades to disperse the students.

Dozens of students were arrested but later released. Six students remained behind bars because of the seriousness of the charge.
The government has proposed a 6 percent tuition fee hike, but students have rejected the proposal.

Also on Thursday, the Presidency said South African President Jacob zyma will meet with the management and leadership of universities as well as student leaders in Pretoria on Friday to discuss the stalemate.
zyma met university vice-chancellors and chairperson of councils on Oct. 6 and they agreed to establish a task team to explore solutions to short-term student funding challenges.

zyma said then that the government fully understands the pressure and difficulties that students coming from poor households and the working class face with regards to high university fees.

The nationwide protests were triggered by all major universities planning to increase tuition fees ranging from 10 to 50 percent for the 2016 school year after the government cut education funding.

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Posted By Bobricky On 09:16 Thu, 22 Oct 2015

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