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Protesting UKZN students burn Westville campus guardhouse, stone building and cars

A group of University of KwaZulu-Natal(UKZN) students protested at the Westville campus yesterday demanding that public transport be allowed onto the campus.

Last year a security control centre at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Westville campus was set alight during a student protest. File Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Nov 23, 2021


DURBAN - A group of University of KwaZulu-Natal(UKZN) students protested at the Westville campus yesterday, demanding that public transport be allowed onto the premises.

Normah Zondo, the executive director of UKZN’s corporate relations, said the protest took place yesterday morning.

“The protesters set fire to the Varsity Drive guardhouse and stoned the university’s Risk Management Services (RMS) building and RMS vehicles,” she said.

The fire was extinguished and the protesters were dispersed by UKZN RMS and private security services.

“University management condemns any act of violence. We urge students to desist from engaging in criminal behaviour and adhere to the Covid-19 protocols set out by management in the interest of ensuring the safety of all university stakeholders, and our local communities,” Zondo said.

While management understands and empathises with the students' request, UKZN’s first and foremost priority is for student safety and measures to ensure controlled access onto campus in keeping with the approved standard operating procedure, she added.

“University management has increased the security presence on the Westville campus,” Zondo said.

The Mercury reported in October that approximately 100 UKZN students living at a leased residence in Pinetown had protested outside the Kingswood residence over old beds that needed replacing, faulty geysers and stoves that didn’t work.

About a week prior to the Kingswood incident, UKZN students staying at Seaboard Accommodation blockaded the entrance of Seapoint Towers in Point South Beach with burning tyres, in protest over several issues including the maintenance of residences and access to wi-fi.

These students threw broken bottles on the street outside the building, resulting in the partial closure of West Street and Mahatma Gandhi Road by police.