Police disperse protesting UKZN students, lectures suspended

2016-09-06 12:17
Six vehicles and a building were torched in riots at UKZN. (Supplied)

Six vehicles and a building were torched in riots at UKZN. (Supplied)

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Durban - Police have dispersed a small group of protesting University of KwaZulu-Natal students on Tuesday following the torching of six cars and a building on the Westville campus. 

Police confronted around 30 students who were chanting struggle songs.

"They were inciting a crowd of people," an unnamed shotgun wielding officer said.

Earlier, students reported being tear-gassed.

"Security and police fired at us in the quad. We weren't doing anything wrong," said a student who did not want to be named.

University management said it had officially suspended lectures.

"Lectures are suspended until further notice," university spokesperson Sejal Desai said.

Security personnel at the Westville campus is on high alert following the torching of the cars and the building on Monday night. A small fire in a bin had to be extinguished on Tuesday. 

16 students arrested

"They burnt six vehicles from the campus, threw stones at the police, vandalised the centre management office using stones and blocked the road," police spokesperson Lieutenant Thulani Zwane said earlier.

A video has since emerged showing the burning of the vehicles.

Zwane said a group of about 50 students had initially blockaded the road with burning tyres and rocks at the campus just after 17:30.

"They also threw stones at the passing by vehicles, but one came forward to report. We are appealing to the people whose cars were damaged to open the cases."

According to Zwane, 16 students, aged between 17 and 20, were arrested for public violence and contravening a court order.

"The suspects damaged the university property."

Zwane said they would appear at the Durban Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Last week Tuesday the Howard College coffee shop was set alight while the Pietermaritzburg main exam hall went up in flames a day later.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  durban  |  university fees

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