UKZN Westville campus erupts in violence yet again

2015-02-26 00:00

VIOLENT protests once again erupted at the UKZN Westville campus yesterday with vehicles stoned and a staffer injured.

When The Witness visited the campus the remnants of burnt-out rubbish, used to blockade the road, could be seen.

Public Order Police and private security had been stationed throughout the campus.

Witnesses said the students trashed vehicles and smashed windows of university vehicles, breaking side-mirrors and even injuring staff in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Police confirmed that a 25-year-old woman was allegedly attacked by two unknown males while she was driving in the campus. “Suspects allegedly threw stones onto her vehicle, hitting her and damaging the windows. The motive of the incident is unknown at this stage. Westville police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property and assault. No arrest has been made at this stage,” said police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker.

UKZN’s communications department said that a small number of students embarked on the illegal protest action.

“With the assistance of the university’s Risk Management Services and outsourced security, all traffic was redirected to the Pitlochry and Varsity Drive entrance gates. At the moment, the road has been reopened and the situation is under control. SAPS, university security and the Public Order Police are present, monitoring the situation on campus and continuing to disperse the protestors,” said corporate communications spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

UKZN had obtained a high court interdict and restraining order protecting 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.

“We reserve the right to take appropriate action on any student or person who is in breach of the interdict. The SAPS arrested approximately eight students in the Quad area on the Westville campus on Tuesday for being in violation of the interdict,” Seskhona said.

UKZN management has engaged in discussions with the Student Representative Council to end the protests.

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