Protests to continue at all UKZN campuses – SRC

2019-02-05 12:38
(PHOTO: supplied)

(PHOTO: supplied)

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Protests will continue at all University of KwaZulu-Natal campuses until management approaches student leadership, the student representative council (SRC) says.

"Yes, we are continuing with the shutdown today. Students are present across all campuses today. We haven’t decided whether to speak to management yet," UKZN central SRC general secretary Siyabonga Khumalo told News24 on Tuesday.

He claimed that the university had not spoken to the SRC, this despite management on Monday claiming to have received a memorandum from students.

"We are waiting for them to come to us to accept the memorandum. We will see if they engage us the next couple of days. They must come to us."

Khumalo urged students to refrain from vandalism, but did not accept responsibility for two burned vehicles at UKZN during Monday's violent protests.

Read more: 29 arrested: Job seekers, shack dwellers and students protest in Durban

"We are with students. Whatever issues they are facing, we will champion them. However, they must not vandalise property. It deviates attention from the issues we are raising. We are not sure if it is students vandalising, but if they are, they should not do that."

Government to intervene

Acting KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said that a task team of MECs was preparing to meet with stakeholders in the institutions of higher learning.

He condemned the damage to property during protests.

"It is warped logic that for students’ protests to have an impact, one must destroy already existing education infrastructure required to prepare young people to be the drivers of socio-economic development in their country."

Zikalala said that the burning of vehicles and property left "a bitter taste and should be condemned by all the people of KwaZulu-Natal".

Read: UKZN suspends lectures as violent protests dominate Durban campuses

He added, however, that government "fully understands and sympathises with the plight of poor students who find it impossible to meet rising education costs".

"We thank both students’ leadership and management in various tertiary institutions who have expressed their willingness to engage in a dialogue in order to turn around the situation."

Two vehicles were overturned and burned by protesters, while police fired rubber bullets and tear gas.

UKZN, together with the Durban University of Technology, announced it would shut down for the better part of this week to engage with student leadership. 

Read more on:    ukzn  |  durban  |  education  |  protests
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