Over the last two weeks, a wave of student protests have swept over South Africa. The spark was a hike in tuition fees, which many students are already unable to afford. The deeper causes have to do with a fragile economy, gloomy job prospects, and the slow pace of transforming South African universities (and society) away from the culture of apartheid and colonialism.
The protests promise to be one of the most important political milestones in recent South African history. The video below, from Africa Is a Country, is the easily best primer on the protests that I've seen.
After mass protests at the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, the movement spread to the universities Cape Town, Stellenbosch, and Rhodes. Students took to the streets, and likewise demanded that #FeesMustFall -- that is, the tuition hike must be stopped. Many other universities followed suit and on October 21st there was a national shutdown. Since the protests began, police have used rubber bullets, stun grenades, pepper spray, and tear gas against peaceful protesters.
The Daily Vox has done an excellent job of covering the protests at ground level. Its sympathies are with the students. The Daily Maverick is a good place to find both analysis and breaking news about the protests.
As Greg Nicolson points out in this Daily Maverick story, the universities are still closed, and confusion reigns.