UKZN: 150 arrested

2011-04-02 00:00

A TOTAL of 150 students were arrested for striking on the UKZN Westville campus this week, says police spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge.

“Investigations are being undertaken both by SAPF and the University’s Risk Management Services. Those students found guilty of acts of violence, intimidation and damage to property would be prosecuted,” said UKZN spokesperson Nomonde Mbadi.

The strikes — illegal because of an interdict granted last month to prevent students from intimidating, harassing and assaulting fellow students and staff at any UKZN campus — saw buildings set alight, staff and students assaulted, and damage to UKZN property.

The interdict also prohibits students from organising and participating in any gathering, demonstration or mass action.

The UKZN campuses were closed yesterday due to the increasingly violent protests that have taken place for the last week. Mbadi said, “The closure was necessitated by the student protest action. The university supports the right of students to protest. Equally the university supports the rights of students to attend lectures in a safe environment.”

The strikes — based on unhappiness over the lack of financial aid available for disadvantaged students — has been organised by the Student Representative Council (SRC). SRC president Bongumenzi Mhlango said an estimated 700 students may have to leave the university due to insufficient funds.

Mhlango says the students will continue to protest despite the university closing its gates.

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