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JOHANNESBURG – South African protesters lob rocks at security guards at one of the continent's leading universities. Police fire rubber bullets at students on another campus. Vice-chancellors warn that students might not be able to finish the academic year if a national dispute over financing higher education is not resolved soon.
Twenty-two years after the end of white minority rule, grievances over economic inequities are fueling unrest that has forced the closure of some of South Africa's most prominent universities, which are struggling to cover costs. Opinion has splintered among students, faculty, parents and the government. The government acknowledges funding shortfalls but accuses a radical minority of disrupting classes.
The University of Witswatersrand and the University of Cape Town hope to resume the academic program on Monday. Some students are vehemently opposed.