Student leader arrested

2012-02-16 00:00

A SENIOR student leader at the riot-hit University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus has been arrested for assault, the institution said yesterday.

 

Police could not confirm this.

In the midst of the pandemonium, students woke up to teargas and police in their residences yesterday morning.

Facebook was abuzz with their comments.

“Who gave out the instruction to spray teargas at every open window?” asked a user named Next Royale.

“Six policemen who are armed with what looks like teargas guns just entered the D-Block!” wrote Jakes Shabalala. “Where is the Royal Security who are supposed to look after the students?”

Police would not comment, saying no charges had been laid.

After the early morning incident the campus was reportedly calm with few people around.

Colonel Jay Naicker said no arrests were made yesterday.

“The situation is stable and calm has been restored,” he said.

“A contingent of Public Order Police [Pop] members are standing off at UKZN.”

Lectures will resume when stability returns, university spokesperson Nomonde Mbadi said.

Students would be informed by SMS and on Facebook, she added.

Violence erupted last Thursday, causing damage to property, which is still being assessed.

This week UKZN SRC president Thembani Ntobeko Khumalo told The Witness that the SRC stood against violence and that protesters should not infringe on the rights of the students.

• tharuna.devchand@witness.co.za

 

Comments on the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Facebook page yesterday deteriorated into hate speech as users debated about the strike — bringing in race issues, financial issues and insulting each other.

The university commented: “To all our staff and students, we are going to take a stand against all racist remarks on our Facebook page.

“Our University Pact states that ‘the staff and students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal agree to treat each other with respect, to abide by the rules and regulations of the institution.

“As such we will not allow racial slander on our page. With immediate effect, all racist remarks will be removed.

“The protest on Westville campus has nothing to do with race, gender or social class.

“The university takes this very seriously and all those making racial remarks will be dealt with accordingly.

“Racial remarks do nothing but incite hatred and will do nothing to solve the problems on campus.”

— WR.

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