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By Gugu Mbonambi
Tests were cancelled and lectures disrupted at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Howard College campus in Durban on Tuesday as dozens of protesting students marched around the institution.
The strike - called by the students' representative council in support of their call for adequate transport for disabled students among other demands - has been declared illegal by the university.
Some of the other demands raised by the students include more stringent security measures on campus, an on-campus ambulance, sufficient accommodation and adequate financial aid packages to assist all the students who require funding.
Some students said they were not aware of the strike and were against violent behaviour demonstrated by their striking counterparts.
Students said protesters marched to the library, isiZulu, music and philosophy lectures, banging on doors and forcing students to leave classes and join the march.
Chemistry, law, heritage and tourism tests were among those that were disrupted.
SRC campus president Siyabonga Nkontwane said the protest would continue until the university management addressed their grievances.
"About 560 students require financial aid but the university indicated that there are only 150 packages available. What about the other 400 students? Students must not be deprived of education on the basis of their poor background, because education is a right and not a privilege," Nkontwane said.
President-general of the central SRC Thanduxolo Sabelo said students who did not attend lectures to participate in the strike action should not be intimidated by the university management.
"All students that were absent from tests and tutorials must be given another date to write and submit their tutorials," he said.
UKZN spokesperson Nomonde Mbadi said the university management was engaging with student leadership to discuss and resolve the issues so that lectures would resume on Wednesday.
"Approximately 200 students embarked on an illegal protest action at the Howard College Campus. Students handed over a memorandum outlining their grievances to the university management," she said.
The SRC said the strike action would not be extended to other UKZN campuses as these were issues affecting Howard College.
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