Private security raids UKZN PMB res

2016-09-26 13:49
UKZN. (File)

UKZN. (File) (Jeff Wicks)

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Pietermaritzburg - Private security guards contracted to the University of KwaZulu-Natal raided the William O'Brien residence in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

This was after a fire broke out at the residence early in the morning, which razed a common room and entry hall.

The residence, on UKZN's main campus in the provincial capital, had been a flashpoint for protests against fee increases.

Camouflage-clad security guards, armed with gas-powered rifles, formed ranks outside the residence before pushing into the building.

Journalists were ejected as security officials went door-to-door inside. Students filtered out of the residence and the door was locked behind them.

Students condemned what they describe as a lack of leadership from the institution.

Star Radebe, a student movement leader, said the university had been conspicuous by its silence.

"Obviously we condemn any form of violence and that’s why we have taken a stance to say we need to defend the property of the university.

"Again, the most relevant question now that people need to ask is ‘Why is the university quiet?’" he said.

"We can’t be asking ‘Why is the university burning? Where is the university?’ The problem is that we are lacking leadership. There is a crisis of leadership on the university’s side," he said vehemently.

"We obviously condemn that, because once we are given a free education, we will still need this property that is being vandalised now," he said.

"But to value a building over a life, it is a difficult thing.

"As students who are going to be excluded financially, do we compare the two? Which one do we value the most?"

He questioned why university management didn't come to Pietermaritzburg to resolve issues. He said students were united in their struggle, despite rumours of factions within their ranks.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  university fees  |  university protests

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