Government has urged protesters once again to respect the laws of the country.
The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on Saturday said the upsurge of violence and destruction of property associated with student protests is criminal and unwarranted.
“There is no space for any type of violence at any of our institutions of higher learning or anywhere else. The only purpose it serves is to undermine the genuine struggle for access to quality higher education, which is supported by government.
“There is no need to kick down an open door. The matter of student fees has been sufficiently registered and is receiving the full attention of government,” said the GCIS.
President Jacob Zuma has recently established a Ministerial Task Team to assist Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande to normalise the situation at higher education institutions.
The Ministerial Task Team is engaged in urgent discussions with different sectors of society to find appropriate solutions to the current state of unrest at various institutions across the country.
“All sectors of society, including student leadership, should support this work. Government reiterates the caution to students not to participate in unlawful conduct, which may place them in conflict with institutions charged with protecting all citizens’ constitutional rights,” said the GCIS.
It said law enforcement agencies are constitutionally bound to act against any perpetrators of criminal acts that are committed during protests at institutions of higher learning.
“They will be arrested and prosecuted. Those found guilty in a court of law risk the prospect of criminal records against their names, which may jeopardise their future opportunities in life.”
The GCIS said all sectors of South African society should join hands with government to intensify efforts to normalise the situation at university so the 2016 academic year can be completed.
“Government calls on students and university management to allow the space for ongoing consultation in pursuit of sustainable solutions to this societal challenge. Students should focus on preparations for their final examinations and play their part in contributing to a better South Africa.” – SAnews.gov.za
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