DURBAN:140810 GRADE 12 JUST THE START: Students like these at the UKZN Howard College are monitored and tracked to identify early difficulties. At other universities, hurdles will weed out the weakest. PICTURE: GCINA NDWALANE

Pietermaritzburg - The University of KwaZulu-Natal was granted an urgent interdict by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday barring protest action from continuing on its campuses or starting on unaffected campuses.

The order prevented protesting students from barricading or restricting the entrances of any of the university campuses in Pietermaritzburg and Durban and from damaging or removing any university property.

Jane Meyerowitz, the university’s registrar, said in court papers the protest action, which began a week ago, harmed the functioning of the university and endangered the lives of non-protesting students and staff.

The application had been brought on an urgent basis because “all attempts to defuse the situation yielded no results”.

Meyerowitz said the university had been reliably informed that the protest was going to be initiated on other campuses.

“Various students have disrupted lectures, intimidated students and staff, damaged property, burnt tyres and barricaded roadways on the university property,” she said.

Last week police were called in to defuse tensions on campus. They used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the protesters.

Although many were arrested, the chaos continued and, on Friday, all lectures were cancelled at Howard College in Durban.

Meyerowitz said proper procedures had not been followed by the students in trying to resolve their issues.

Continuing the strike would be a replication of the unlawful activities, she said.

The students were protesting over accommodation and security issues and academic exclusions. - The Mercury