UKZN Westville campus closed after violent protest

2015-09-15 11:02
UKZN Westville campus.

UKZN Westville campus. (Avir, Twitter)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Westville has been closed following the outbreak of violent protests there on Sunday night.

Protesting students went on a rampage burning cars, damaging property and looting lecture rooms.

Those who arrived on Monday for lectures were sent away.

The students were 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.

Provincial South African Student Congress (Sasco) secretary Phinda Mofokeng accused UKZN of meddling in the allocation of funds by the scheme.

“NSFAS is an independent body. Their policy is clear that you must pass your registered modules with 50% for them to continue funding your studies. UKZN is coming up with this top-up illegal process of 70%, but the agreement is between the students and NSFAS,” said Mofokeng.

According to one of the student representative council (SRC) members, who did not want to be named, UKZN has introduced a “robot system”.

“At the beginning you will be coded green. That means a good academic standing. Once you get less than 70%, it turns orange. Once you get less than 50%, it turns red,” said the SRC member.

The member said the system was “unfair because some courses were more challenging than others”.

Mofokeng said the institution wanted to close RAC, which provided amnesty to students who owed money, allowing them to register for the next semester.

“Even if you owe the university one cent, the university will show you the middle finger. The university wants to exclude poor students. Is it a crime to be poor?” asked Mofokeng.

He said the university had promised to complete the building of a student residence by last year, which has not been done.

“The majority of our students are housed in Point [Durban] where there is a lot of drug dealing and crime. Most of them have fallen prey to muggings,” said Mofokeng.

He condemned the violence.

The university said it is committed to engaging with students to understand the causes of the unrest and said students had not brought the issues to them yet.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said police are monitoring the situation.

“Two students have been arrested for public violence. They were stoning police vehicle,” said Zwane.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  durban  |  education  |  protests

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.