Student protests erupt in South Africa over push for free college

  • Police officers stand guard as university students stage a protest against the raise on tuition fees in Johannesburg, South Africa on Oct. 12, 2016.
  • Hundreds of students demonstrate as part of a nation wide movement against higher university tuition fees on Oct. 11, 2016 in Durban, South Africa.
  • Protesting students pray during a demonstration under police surveillance as part of a nation wide movement against higher university tuition fees on Oct. 11, 2016 in Durban, South Africa.
  • A policeman clashes with a student on the University of the Witwatersrand campus in Johannesburg, South Africa on Oct. 10, 2016.
  • A group of students take cover as the clashes between students and riot police continue on Oct. 10, 2016 in Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • A bus is set on fire during the #FeesMustFall protests over education costs in Johannesburg, South Africa on Oct. 10, 2016.
  • Two topless Wits University students hug each other during the #FeesMustFall protests on Oct. 4, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Some students stripped off their tops and bras demanding that police stop firing rubber bullets and stun grenades at them.
  • Wits University students clash with police during the #FeesMustFall protests on Oct. 4, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • A man throws a stone during a mass protest of the Fees Must Fall movement at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa on Oct. 4, 2016.
  • A student at the University of Witwatersrand offers flowers to South African anti-riot policemen during a running battle with the police forces on campus during a mass demonstration on Oct. 4, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • The flash of an exploding stun grenade is seen while a policeman discharged his rubber bullet loaded rifle during a running battle with the police forces on campus on Oct. 4, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Mcebo Dlamini dances with a helmet belonging to the University private security and with a shield during a running battle with the police forces on campus on Oct. 4, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • A student runs from an exploding stun grenade thrown by anti-riot police as they disperse a demonstration by students over fee increases at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa on Oct. 4, 2016.
  • Smoke billows at the University of Witwatersrand as students disperse during a battle with the police forces on campus during a mass demonstration on Oct. 4, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • A student is seen during clashes with South African police at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa on Oct. 4, 2016.
  • Students from University of the Witwatersrand protest during the third week of ongoing protests against the cost of higher education in Johannesburg, South Africa on Oct. 3, 2016.
  • Congress of South Africa Students high school students demonstrate against announced fees hikes for tertiary education on Sept. 30, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Lecturers and staff from Witwatersrand University hold banners and placards during a demonstration in support of the free education movement and against violence on campus on Sept. 30, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • A student wears a noose around her neck as lecturers and staff of Witwatersrand University demonstrate in support of the free education movement and against violence on campus on Sept. 30, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • South African police officers dismantle a barricade in the Doornfontein district of Johannesburg after students of the local University of Johannesburg campus clashed with private security guards on Sept. 28, 2016.
  • University of Johannesburg students raise their hands while blocking a motorway during clashes with riot police on Sept. 28, 2016 outside the University of Johannesburg Campus in South Africa.
  • Students raise their hands in front of the campus gate during clashes with riot police on Sept. 28, 2016 outside the University of Johannesburg Campus.
  • South African police officers stand by as University of Witwatersrand students march to the Confederation of South African Trade Unions headquarters in Johannesburg on Sept. 23, 2016 during a protest to demand free higher education.
  • Hundreds of students hold a protest over student fee increases on Sept. 22, 2016 outside the South African parliament in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Students run for cover as police fire stun grenades and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse them during their protest for free education in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sept. 21, 2016.
  • Wits University students clash with police during the #FeesMustFall protest on Sept. 21, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • A South African police officer looks on during clashes with students from the University of the Witwatersrand during a protest against university fee increases on Sept. 21, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Students from the University of the Witwatersrand are injured by a police grenade during a protest against university fee increases on Sept. 21, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Students from the University of the Witwatersrand pelt university security guards with stones during clashes against university fee hikes on Sept. 20, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • An injured student is attended to by her schoolmates after clashes with security at University of the Witwatersrand during countrywide protests demanding free tertiary education in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sept. 20, 2016.
  • Wits University students block and barricade entrances to the institution during a #FeesMustFall protest on Sept. 19, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Wits University students block and barricade entrances to the institution during a #FeesMustFall protest on Sept. 19, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

of

Updated

JOHANNESBURG — South African riot police fought stone-throwing students for a second consecutive day at a university campus on Tuesday amid national calls by demonstrators for free higher education. Protests and demonstrations initially began last fall over proposed tuition increases of as much as 10 and 12 percent, and were reignited last month over the revelation that 2017 fees would increase by another eight percent.

Clashes broke out when students hurled rocks at a central building at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and police fired rubber bullets to disperse them.

Earlier Tuesday, the university said classes had resumed despite attempts by student protesters to disrupt the academic program. On Monday, larger groups of students confronted police and campus security guards, and violence spilled into surrounding city streets.

Student protests have forced the closure of other universities in South Africa and prompted warnings that students might not be able to complete the academic year.

The government says it does not have enough money to provide free higher education and that it will cover fee increases for poor students next year. Protesters, however, say the concession does not go far enough.

 “The students at the moment are saying, ‘We cannot stop protesting until government accepts that education must be free with no qualification,’” South African President Jacob Zuma said during a visit to Kenya on Tuesday.

 “It will be very difficult to pay, as a government, for a child of a parent who has every means to pay,” Zuma said at a news conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. “We who have the means must support the system for the benefit of the country. That’s what we are saying, that’s our position and that’s what we are engaging the youth on.”

Josphat Kasire/AP contributed to this report from Nairobi, Kenya.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography

Speak Out