Security tight at UKZN

Security beefed up on Campus.Picture Zanele Zulu.29/09/2015

Security beefed up on Campus.Picture Zanele Zulu.29/09/2015

Published Sep 30, 2015


Durban - A strong security presence remained on the Westville campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, as a student handed himself over to police for his part in the violent protests there two weeks ago.

Classes at all five campuses have proceeded uninterrupted this week, bar an incident on the Pietermaritzburg campus on Monday, and a protest at the Edgewood campus on Tuesday.

On Monday a 21-year-old student was arrested for malicious damage to property and for contravening a court order when he allegedly took aim at his peers with a fire extinguisher on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

The 23-year-old student, who handed himself over to the police in Durban on Tuesday, would appear in court soon for public violence, KZN police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said.

The Mercury understands that he is a member of the students’ representative council, and was allegedly involved in the violent protests at the Westville campus which saw two cars and the administration building vandalised and set alight.

The torched building houses the office of vice-chancellor Albert van Jaarsveld. No students were arrested at the Edgewood campus on Tuesday.

Students have been interdicted from gathering unlawfully at any of the institution’s campuses. While the SA Students Congress (Sasco) claimed responsibility for leading the protests, it said it did not condone the destruction of property - which is estimated to have cost R22 million.

The protests, which were over financial aid and an increase in the pass mark required for financial aid students, eventually saw classes suspended at all five of UKZN’s campuses.

Westville SRC president Lukhanyo Mtshingana was arrested two weeks ago along with Luwazi Magwaza - a former UKZN student.

The two were charged with public violence, and appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court last week, when they were denied bail.

The Higher Education Department’s spokesman, Khaye Nkwanyana, said that while the aggrieved students might have had valid reasons for protesting, there could be no justification for the level of violence perpetrated.

The National Assembly’s portfolio committee on higher education also condemned the criminal acts.

The Mercury

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