The Fees Must Fall protests gripping the country are no longer about fees but about power and control, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has said.
And they are as much a threat to the future as apartheid once was, she said adding that the protests needed to be confronted head on.
“We had to stand up for the rule of law, we had to stand up for non-racialism…,” she said on Monday.
Speaking at the launch of her new book, Not Without a Fight , on Monday, she said the biggest failure the country faced was not having a properly organised, well-staffed and well-trained public order police force to deal with the protests.
“We shouldn’t be shooting bullets at kids. We should have our police force with really good shields at all campuses protecting people’s right to study,” she said.
Even if they had to use teargas and rubber bullets, she said, police still had to maintain public order.
“If the police get driven back by a group of students with rocks, we are in serious trouble in South Africa,” the former DA leader said.