DURBAN – THE University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus was closed on Monday following student protests that erupted on Sunday and resulted in police using rubber bullets.
University spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said: “The University of KwaZulu-Natal Westville campus experienced violent protest action late last night and early this morning. The protestors caused damage to property. A number of vehicles were stoned and some facilities were set alight. Protestors also obstructed some campus entrance gates.”
He said that all academic activities at the university had been suspended on Monday and Tuesday.
Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said that detectives at the Westville police station were investigating a case of malicious damage to property.
“It is alleged that three vehicles and a building were damaged and set alight by the suspects,” he said.
Seshoka said the university’s management had not been presented with a list of grievances.
According to Naicker, the protests started late on Sunday and continued into the morning, with members of the police Public Order Policing Unit deployed to the campus.
The African National Congress Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal claimed in a statement issued by provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo that the protest was over plans by the university to stop what is known as the Registration Appeals Committee (RAC) process.
This process allows students owing the institution fees to enter into an agreement with the institution to pay their debts in instalments whilst continuing with their studies.
It welcomed the he protests, but condemned any action that resulted in the damage of property. – ANA