Durban - The University of KwaZulu-Natal has been closed after further protests by students on Wednesday night at the university’s Pietermaritzburg campus. The demands of the students remain unclear and the university has not yet clarified what has triggered the protests.
University spokesman Lesiba Seshoko confirmed that a decision was taken last night by the university’s management to close the university for two more days. This means students will only return to the university on September 29 after the spring recess, which starts at the end of this week.
Details surrounding the protests at the university’s Pietermaritzburg campus were sketchy and could not immediately be confirmed. There were unconfirmed reports that a vehicle was tipped over and that a security guard had to be taken to hospital after he was assaulted by students. Police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane said: “A case of public violence was opened at Alexandra Road after campus property and two vehicles were damaged last night. No arrest has been made at this stage.” He could not immediately confirm the assault on the security guard.
The university has been wracked by violence since the beginning of the week, with the first protests breaking out at its Westville campus on Sunday night, when two cars were burnt and an office building was petrol bombed. The demands of the students are unclear and the university has not clarified what demands it has received from the students.
The ANC Youth League in a statement claimed that the university had terminated what is known as the Registration Appeals Committee (RAC) process. This process allows students owing the institution to enter into an agreement with the institution to pay their debts in instalments whilst continuing with their studies. However, the university has claimed that it has received no formal complaints or demands.