Reuters International

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African police used rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades on Wednesday to disperse hundreds of student protesters demanding free education at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, a Reuters witness said.

Protests have been flaring for weeks at universities across the country, prompting President Jacob Zuma last week to form a ministerial team to tackle the issue.

A private security guard was badly beaten by demonstrators in the latest clash and a campus building was set on fire, the witness said.

The protests over the cost of university education, prohibitive particularly for black students and set to rise by up to 8 percent next year, have highlighted frustration at the inequalities that still endure, more than two decades after the end of apartheid.

Police in the capital Pretoria warned the public of an expected march by students on Thursday to the Union Buildings, where the government has its seat.

(Reporting by Mike Hutchings; Writing by Ed Stoddard; Editing by)

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