Two arrested for disrupting classes at UKZN

2015-09-29 12:02
Police watch the gates to a residence at the Pietermaritzburg UKZN campus. (Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness)

Police watch the gates to a residence at the Pietermaritzburg UKZN campus. (Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg- Lectures at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus were briefly disrupted again on Monday by a gang of vigilantes who allegedly used a fire extinguisher to chase students out of their classes.

According to sources, the matter was dealt with swiftly by police and University of KwaZulu-Natal’s security, who apprehended those responsible and the lectures continued normally as the day progressed.

Two female students were apparently treated for respiratory problems after inhaling the chemicals from the extinguisher.

The disruptions come as the institution’s student representative council (SRC) called for a boycott of all lectures in support of a “peaceful protest” that is planned to take place today.

In a statement released to students by the SRC, the group said the protest will aim to send a clear message to the university that “students are the only education decision-making body”.

“By peaceful protest we mean nobody should attend classes or write any tests,” the message said.

UKZN Pietermaritzburg SRC members said they are still “trying to figure out” why two of the university’s students were arrested yesterday.

According to a source at the university, the two vigilantes entered lectures at the commerce and chemistry departments and let off fire extinguishers while shouting at students to leave.

“As the SRC, we had a meeting where it was agreed that no student should attend lectures as we have not been able to reach an agreement with university management,” said an SRC member who asked not to be named.

“We then deployed two students to spread that message. They were just putting up posters which carried the SRC’s message.”

UKZN campuses in Durban and Pietermaritzburg have been plagued by violence in the past three weeks with students allegedly causing property damage estimated at more than R30 million in protests.

It is believed the students are protesting about issues related to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), student accommodation and the university’s intended closing of the Registration Appeals Committee (RAC) process

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  protest  |  ukzn

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