Thousands of students have joined marches across South Africa and now London to protest proposed university fee increases for 2016.

Solidarity March by London Students

Solidarity March by London Students

#FeesMustFall has been gaining international solidarity, with students from the University of London set to march to the South African embassy in London on Friday morning.

Protests began earlier this week at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (Wits) and the University of Cape Town (UCT), with students erecting barricades at entrances and exits to demonstrate against the proposed 10.5% fee increases.

The protests have since spread to at least 10 universities nationwide, forcing many of them to close, while end-of-year examinations have been postponed.

On Wednesday afternoon, students descended on Parliament in Cape Town, where President Jacob Zuma, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, and other MPs were gathered for Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene's medium-term budget policy statement.

The protesters pushed past guards to enter the grounds, where many sat down with their hands in the air to signify peaceful intentions.

According to reports, the public order police, dressed in full riot gear, fired stun grenades and teargas into the crowd of students. Twenty-nine students were arrested and have been charged with public violence.

"The protest was peaceful but we were met with violence from the police," Aziz Matthews, 23, told CNN.

"We had our hands raised to show we weren't a threat and sat down many times to listen to speeches."

Social media has been used by students to rally and share experiences, using the hashtags #FeesMustFall and #NationalShutDown, as more reports surface of police brutality in the face of predominantly peaceful protests, reminiscent of a pre-1994 South Africa.

Students in London have organised a solidarity march for Friday October 23, planning to gather outside the South African High Commission to show their support.

As the crisis intensifies, South African President Jacob Zuma plans to meet with student leaders and university administrators on Friday, said his spokesman Bonagani Majola.

Just a reminder Mr President Jacob Zuma.

Vote ANC For Free Quality Education - A Better Life For All!
Vote ANC For Free Quality Education - A Better Life For All!

The ANC last campaign was driven around free education for all, luring voters to the polls which now seems to be a campaigned layered with false promisies. A poster claiming, "Vote ANC, For Free Quality Education, Better Life For All!"