UKZN staff escape arrest

2016-10-26 06:00
PHOTO: Ian carbutt  Students bolt from the scene as police swooped.

PHOTO: Ian carbutt Students bolt from the scene as police swooped.

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ANOTHER five students were arrested on Monday afternoon at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg campus for being in violation of the High Court interdict forbidding students from gathering anywhere on the campus.

A group of about 50 students and a group of lecturers, who termed themselves Profs4Protest, gathered on the library lawns for an open discussion about the #FeesMustFall campaign.

The meeting, which was scheduled to begin at 11am, took over an hour to take place as students and lecturers made their way to the gathering.

Once they were there it lasted fewer than 30 minutes before police made their way to the group and dispersed them.

As police approached the group and students bolted in all directions. Police escorted two lecturers and five students to the police vans. The lecturers were released a short while after that as the court interdict does not apply to them, the students, however, were not as lucky.

As the crowd dispersed some students, donned with #FeesMustFall T-shirts, followed the lecturers and students to the vans. They were seen taking videos and photographs.

The two staff members, who were detained, were a UKZN theology and development programme director and senior lecturer, Dr Clint le Bruyns.

Before the police were on scene, lecturers and students were seen with coloured cardboard drawing up a make-shift timeline of events that have taken place over the past few months during the #FeesMustFall protests.

According to Le Bruyns, they were doing art activities.

While lecturers got into discussions with the police after they were released explaining that the court interdict only applied to students, the students were chanting and dancing, however, at a safe distance.

According to a communiqué from executive director of corporate relations at UKZN, Lesiba Seshoka, later on Monday afternoon students threw stones at police and, after police reacted, an unidentified man, who is neither a student nor a lecturer, was injured and transported to hospital.

“We have received reports of two acts of arson on the Pietermaritzburg campus whereby a table was burnt in the Students Union building and books set alight in the library.

RMS responded and the fires were extinguished before they could spread,” Seshoka said in the statement.

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