Violence closes UKZN campuses
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Durban - Westville police arrested 10 students at the UKZN’s Westville campus on Friday.
Lectures and teaching activities on all UKZN campuses have been suspended until next Friday.
Police spokesman, Colonel Jay Naicker, said the 10 students had been charged with public violence and would appear in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court.
A crowd of protesting students at the campus had to be dispersed yesterday as the university secured an urgent court interdict against its student representative council (SRC).
The situation deteriorated on Friday when students burned more than a dozen fridges, a tree stump, desks and refuse bins at the entrance to Oval Residence in the campus. Other entrances were barricaded with burning refuse, tyres and bins.
Public Order Police and campus security were on hand to monitor for violence.
Students gathered near the residence sports stands singing and chanting.
The interdict comes after violent protests - particularly at the Pietermaritzburg, Edgewood (Pinetown) and Westville campuses this week, where students have been demanding that more students be given financial assistance.
University spokesman, Lesiba Seshoka, said: ”SAPS, University Risk Management Services and the Public Order Policing are present and monitoring the situation on campus and continuing to disperse the protesters.
“We are unaware of the reasons for the protests as these students have not raised their concerns through the correct channels,” he said.
Seshoka confirmed the university had secured a high court interdict to protect the university against “unlawful protests, disruptive gatherings, demonstrations, mass action, intimidation or any violent act to persons or property at the entrance and premises of university campuses”.
The court interdict was served to the five SRC councils at individual campuses and the central UKZN SRC (which oversees all the campuses) yesterday.
“We reserve the right to take appropriate action on any student or person who is in breach of the interdict. Management has been engaged in discussions with the SRC.
“Students are urged to cease and desist from engaging in illegal and destructive acts while dialogue is in progress,” Seshoka said.
The various SRC leaders did not respond to requests for comment when contacted.