South African university library torched, 32 students arrested

South African university library torched, 32 students arrested

Thirty-two students were arrested after arsonists torched a law library at South Africa’s University of KwaZulu-Natal, police said on Wednesday, following days of protests by students over grievances including the cost of tuition.

The protests appeared to reach a climax on Tuesday night when several cars and the library were set alight.

Police said those arrested would be charged with public order offences as investigations into the torching of the buildings and vehicles continued.

“The library was burnt and were are still investigating this crime,” police spokesman Thulani Zwane said.

University students are awaiting to hear whether there will be an increase in 2017 tuition fees as the government and universities hold talks to determine the fee structure.

South Africa was rocked last year by weeks of angry demonstrations over the cost of university education, forcing President Jacob Zuma to rule out fee raises planned for this year.

Many black students are frustrated by the inequalities that persist two decades after the end of white-minority rule. They argue that raising fees will further disadvantage black students who had little access to universities under apartheid.

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