Acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane say the is ready to battle it out with the Fees must fall protest should protesters resume their protest next year when schools are expected to resume for the academic year.
Believes that the tactics used by the police during Fees Must Fall protest in the past months, were spot on, General Khomotso Phahlane said he his men are now better equipped and ready against further disruption by students come next year.
“To make sure our security plans are in place and if we’re confronted with the same challenges, we will be better positioned to deal with them.” says Phahlane who promised that the police will engage with higher education institutions.
Phahlane’s comments echos the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training who months back, vowed to bolster security at future hearings following disruptions in Cape Town.
The commission made the vow at its second day of public hearings at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town which had to be suspend after University of Cape Town vice chancellor Max Price was confronted by disgruntled students.
“We’ve had these public hearings in other provinces and we didn’t receive such a hostile reception. We will definitely be increasing security to ensure that when everyone comes, they are safe.” Commission spokesperson Andile Tshona was reported saying.
More than 800 protesters were arrested during Fees Must Fall protest this year.The protest got to its peak when the minister of higher education and training, Blade Nzimande announced that it would allow all SA Universities to have students fee increased by 8%.
This came after President Jacob Zuma announced that his government could not afford free education for all, though it would continue providing assistance for university costs for the poorest students
Universities also said they cannot make further concessions as last year’s fee freeze has put their finances under great strain.
South African Students’ Congress (Sasco) at the time warned of more severe protests in the event of a fees increase expected in 2017.