Violent protests flare up at University of Limpopo

Limpopo - Disgruntled students at the University of Limpopo barred some of the institution's executive management from leaving the campus as protests turned violent on Monday night.

What started out as a peaceful protest eventuallygot out of hand after students were addressed bythe university vice chancellor Professor Mahlo Mokgalong.

Prior to the address, students chanted peacefully that "fees must fall" while demanding free education.

Mokgalong started his address by acknowledging the students' demands, but he refused to enter into an agreement with them about free education.

"This is a national agenda...  it will be addressed. The president of the country has established a committee to look at options in this regard, and they will make recommendations," said Mokgalong.But university officials were soon forced to flee to safety when the protest turned violent and students clashed with police.

Students went on to blockade the university's main entrance with concrete dustbins, barring campus officials from leaving.

Campus infrastructure was also vandalised.Earlier, students brought examinations to a halt, demanding that Mokgalong and his management find a solution to ensuring free education.

During the clash, some students - who hurled stones at riot police - were left injured when police used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse them.

University spokesperson Kgalema Mohuba confirmed that campus property had been damaged.

The protest comes on the heels of nationwide student action against proposed fee hikes for 2016.

President Jacob Zuma announced on Friday that there would be no fee hikes next year.

Some students are, however, demanding, that Zuma also address some of their other concerns such as free education and the outsourcing of workers. The academic programme at several of the country's institutions are yet to resume.

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