High court orders students to end riots

2012-08-28 00:00

THE University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) obtained an urgent court order in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday to prevent students from continuing with “protest action, riots, destruction of property, assault and intimidation” at all campuses.

The application was granted by Judge Kate Pillay in chambers.

The action was brought by UKZN against all students, nine student bodies, and the provincial commissioner of police.

UKZN registrar Jane Meyerowitz said the police were cited because the university needed help to control students involved in illegal activities.

Despite negotiations with students, they had engaged in rioting and strike action, she said.

There was a reasonable belief that protest action — which appeared to be set to continue and to be initiated at other campuses — would cause harm to the functioning of the university and endanger the lives of staff and students, Meyerowitz said.

She said that since the start of protests, students had disrupted lectures, intimidated fellow students and staff, damaged university property, burned tyres, and barricaded roadways.

Last Wednesday police used stun grenades and teargas to disperse students, and some were arrested. However, lectures had to be suspended at Howard College campus last Friday.

She said students were not following set-down procedures for dealing with grievances and had not been granted permission to protest.

In terms of the court order granted, students may not assault, intimidate, harm or harass any person; damage or remove any of UKZN’s property; barricade or in any way interfere with entrances and access points to any UKZN premises; organise, instigate or co-ordinate any gathering, demonstration or mass action on UKZN premises or take part in such action.

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