UKZN: No decision on a fee hike

By Nomzamo Ngcobo
09 September 2016

The University of KwaZulu Natal has asked students to return to class following protests. Students embarked on protests this week amid rumours that the university had decided to hike fees next year, despite calls from some quarters that there should be no fee increases again in 2017.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal(UKZN)  has urged its students to return to class on the 20th of September as it has not taken any decision regarding fee increases for the next academic year.

Students embarked on protests this week amid rumours that the university had decided to hike fees next year, despite calls from some quarters that there should be no fee increases again in 2017. However, the university has denied that this is the case.

“We still await guidance on the matter from National Government,” said UKZN vice-chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld.

The university said it would remain on recess while preparations were underway to beef up “access control…to exclude any unwanted elements” on its campuses.

UKZN authorities have also denied that a student was raped on campus, but said a sexual harassment case had been opened. News broke earlier this week that a student was raped at one of the university campuses during the protests that have rocked the university.

On Tuesday, six cars were torched at the Westville campus. Three of the cars belong to a contractor, while the other three are owned by the university. A library was also torched at the Howard College campus the same day. Lectures were suspended and 22 students have been arrested for public violence.

Van Jaarsveld said the university policy is not to pay bail for arrested students, but said they would ensure that all those who were arrested have a legal representative.

UKZN council member Sammy Mashita said the university applied for an interdict under the guidance of the council.

“When we saw that every night we were losing property, it required that we [take]legal action to apply for that interdict and obviously that interdict can only be effected by the police,” he said, adding that the police had  acted when the court interdicted was violated.

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