Africa

Top South African university closes after protests

  • A man walks with his bike near a crossing at the University of Cape Town, UCT, campus were students removed a statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes in recent years, and gathered during protest in the past week demanding free education in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Students have staged protests on some other South African campuses. Classes were suspended Wednesday at the University of Cape Town because of security concerns. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    A man walks with his bike near a crossing at the University of Cape Town, UCT, campus were students removed a statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes in recent years, and gathered during protest in the past week demanding free education in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Students have staged protests on some other South African campuses. Classes were suspended Wednesday at the University of Cape Town because of security concerns. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man runs up stairs at the University of Cape Town, UCT, campus were students gathered during recent protest demanding free education in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Students have staged protests on some other South African campuses. Classes were suspended Wednesday at the University of Cape Town because of security concerns. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    A man runs up stairs at the University of Cape Town, UCT, campus were students gathered during recent protest demanding free education in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Students have staged protests on some other South African campuses. Classes were suspended Wednesday at the University of Cape Town because of security concerns. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

  • Students run for cover as police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse them during a protest, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. South African police on Wednesday set off stun grenades and threw tear gas at stone-throwing students from a leading university who were demonstrating for free education.  (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    Students run for cover as police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse them during a protest, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. South African police on Wednesday set off stun grenades and threw tear gas at stone-throwing students from a leading university who were demonstrating for free education. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

A leading university in South Africa has closed for the rest of the week because of violence by protesters demanding free education.

The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg says it is identifying those who participated in campus violence on Tuesday and will take action against them.

Protesters had thrown stones at security guards outside a main campus building. Some guards threw projectiles back at the students.

The demonstrators were reacting to a government announcement that universities can increase fees by up to 8 percent next year. The government has promised to pay about $180 million to cover the costs of poor students.

Students have staged protests on some other South African campuses. Classes were suspended Wednesday at the University of Cape Town because of security concerns.