Water cannon were used against protesting students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville campus. Photo: Jacques Naude

Durban - A heavily pregnant University of KwaZulu-Natal lecturer was attacked by striking students on Friday who pushed her to the floor and stamped on her.

The economics lecturer from the Westville Campus was accosted after she told a group of striking students that she refused to be bullied by them. She was rescued by two of her students who escorted her from the lecture room.

The violent incident happened on Friday morning during a heated stand-off between police, members of the risk management service and protesting students who are demanding that the university extend registration dates.

The students, who went around lecture rooms threatening and forcing other students to join the strike, were angry because they had been barred from registering because of outstanding fees from last year.

The students want their fees to be paid by the university and to be allowed to register for this year.

According to a second-year BCom marketing student in the lecture, the commotion started after 9am.

She said they first heard singing outside, before four students stormed into the room chanting and demanding that they join them.

“But our lecturer told them where to get off,” said the student.

In a video recorded by another student, the lecturer can be seen chasing the striking students from her class.


But, the students returned a few minutes later with a bigger crowd, brandishing sticks. That is when the attack happened.

“Get out, get out,” one student dressed in a khaki shirt and hat is heard saying as he jumps from one desk to another.

Frightened students run towards the door, while others stand around in shock. “I was in so much shock that I just stood there,” said the student.

“The next thing I saw was my lecturer down on the floor and two of the striking guys walked over her. Two of my male classmates had to help her up.”

UKZN spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the university was not aware of the attack. “We have not heard about it, nor have we seen the video clip.”