“Until the SA Army is deployed to protect the learners in Malamulele the teaching and learning process must stop countrywide,” the Congress of SA Students in the Eastern Cape said in a statement.
“In solidarity with the learners in Malamulele we call for the office of the president to intervene.”
Protests erupted in the area last year before the May general elections, and reignited a month ago with residents demanding their own municipality.
Since January, four schools have been set alight. On Friday, roads were blocked and tyres set alight after the Municipal Demarcation Board announced that Malamulele did not qualify for its own municipality. The area calmed down later that day, with no serious incidents reported.
Residents claim the Thulamela municipality has been channelling services to Tshivenda-speaking areas, rather than their own, which is dominated by Xitsonga speakers.