PICS: UKZN shuts down due to protests

UKZN shuts down due to protests

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has decided to bring the institution’s recess period forward and shut down all its campuses following days of rioting. 

PICS: UKZN shuts down - recess period brought forward
Anelisa Kubheka

Speaking outside the university’s Risk Management building at Westville where six vehicles were torched last night, spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the spring break had been scheduled to start on 17 September but current tensions have forced management to decide to break early.

Nearly 40 students from the Westville and Howard College campuses have been arrested in the last 24 hours.

Seshoka says students will be asked to leave all campuses and return at the end of the recess period.

ALSO READ: Violence erupts at UKZN, lectures suspended

"We are experiencing other damages unfortunately and of course the police will do their investigations. The perpetrators shall be arrested and prosecuted and we are not in a position to be withdrawing criminal charges. We cant do that," he said.

PICS: UKZN shuts down - recess period brought forward
Anelisa Kubheka

Seshoka says the break will also give management time to resolve some of the issues at hand.

Meanwhile, with the arrest of UKZN’s Howard College SRC president Senzo Ngidi this morning his peers feel this has shut the door to negotiations with management at the University.

His arrest follows that of 13 other students yesterday who appeared in court today on charges of public violence.

Earlier today, students at Howard College burned rubbish and a garden bench prompting police to disperse them by firing rubber bullets.

PICS: UKZN shuts down - recess period brought forward.
Anelisa Kubheka

The SRC’s Mandisi Kubheka says Ngidi’s arrest has left them with no way forward.

"The thirteen students have been bailed for R200 each. There hasn't been any negotiations for him (the president ) yet. That's why there's no way forward now, who's going to represent us? 

"The bail was for the ones that were arrested yesterday but now since the academic programmes are not proceeding there are no students that will come onto campus so there's no use protesting, maybe after this suspension," he said.

PICS: UKZN shuts down - recess period brought forward.
Anelisa Kubheka

Another 22 students have been arrested at the Westville campus following last night protests in which six vehicles were set alight.

Meanwhile five women have been injured during protests at the Pietermaritzburg campus.

It's unclear whether the women were students or bystanders.

ER24 Spokesperson Russel Meiring says they sustained minor injuries from tear gas and rubber bullets.

"It is understood that this incident occurred during some protest action at the nearby university. The cause of this incident is under investigation by local authorities," he said.

(Photos: Anelisa Kubheka)

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