UKZN protests ‘now over’

Admin block A which was burnt during students riot at University of Westville in KwaZulu Natal this week PICTURE BONGANI MBATHA

Admin block A which was burnt during students riot at University of Westville in KwaZulu Natal this week PICTURE BONGANI MBATHA

Published Oct 6, 2015

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Durban - The marathon weekend negotiations at the University of KwaZulu-Natal have led to a successful agreement between students and management.

The SA Students Congress said on Monday that the protests had come to an end.

UKZN spokesman Lesiba Seshoka confirmed that an agreement had been reached.

Seshoka said consensus had been reached on almost all the issues up for discussion, but that the details could not immediately be shared.

Sasco’s KwaZulu-Natal secretary, Pinda Mofokeng, said the students’ most critical demands had been met.

The protests, which began early last month, were over the decision to review the registration appeal committee, a proposed increase in the registration fee, and campus security concerns.

Early on Monday morning – before the agreement between student leaders and UKZN’s management – five students wearing balaclavas attempted to block traffic on the Westville campus.

Students also discharged pepper spray in some venues on the Westville campus. One student was found in possession of the pepper spray and apprehended by police, Seshoka said.

“The university management regrets the inconvenience caused to both staff and students during this period.”

At the last tally, the violent protests on the Westville campus had resulted in damage to property worth about R22 million.

It is expected to take several months to repair the damage to the administration building on the Westville campus, which was vandalised and torched.

Last week the student wellness office situated on the Westville campus was also set alight.

Westville SRC president Lukhanyo Mtshingana was arrested more than two weeks ago, along with former UKZN student Luwazi Magwaza, on charges of public violence.

Small, sporadic protests have also occurred at the Edgewood and Pietermaritzburg campuses over the past three weeks.

The Mercury

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