South African Parliament Under Police Guard Due to Protests

  • Students from universities in Western Cape expected to march
  • Parliamentary staff demanding higher pay, better Conditions

South African riot police closed all entrances to Parliament in Cape Town as staff demonstrated for better working conditions and university student protesters were expected later in the day to press their demands for lower tuition.

About 600 parliamentary staff, representing more than a third of the legislature’s workforce, sang and danced on Monday within the legislature’s grounds.

“We have notified Parliament that our services have been suspended until all our demands are met,” Stembisa Thembe, the chairman of the National Health and Education and Allied Workers Union, said in an interview.

Students from the four main universities in the Western Cape province were scheduled to converge on Parliament. President Jacob Zuma announced a freeze on university tuition last month after the worst student protests since the end of apartheid. The unrest provoked running battles between the police using stun grenades and protesters in Cape Town and in Pretoria.

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