Students, unhappy over the change in certain exam venues, protested at the Durban campus of Unisa. Picture: Sandile Makhoba

Durban – Police on Thursday used rubber bullets and pepper spray as they clashed with several hundred students from the University of South Africa who staged a protest outside the institution’s Durban campus.

The students are protesting against the closure of exam centres and application fees that students will have to pay when enrolling.

Robert McKenzie, spokesman for KwaZulu-Natal’s Emergency Medical Services, said paramedics at the scene treated one person for an injury sustained from a rubber bullet and another patient who had been pepper sprayed.

The university’s vice chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya spoke to the students and said he would hold a meeting with the student representative council, but this was rejected by the protesters who demanded that the meeting be held outside the Unisa premises with them present.

“He’s met them (the SRC) alone before and he dismantled them. He must meet their demand here,” a student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Eventually students dispersed after a student said over a loudspeaker that it had been agreed that Makhanya would meet them again on Monday at the campus.

Unisa spokesman Martin Ramotshela could not immediately be reached for comment.