UKZN prayer meeting cut short by police

2016-10-05 09:20
A small group of students, lecturers and religious leaders gathered at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus on Tuesday for a prayer meeting for peace on campuses across the country.

A small group of students, lecturers and religious leaders gathered at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus on Tuesday for a prayer meeting for peace on campuses across the country. (Amil Umraw)

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A prayer meeting at the University of Kwa­Zulu-Natal was cut short on Tuesday when police asked the small group to disperse.

The group — made up of students, religious leaders and lecturers at the university — were left frustrated and said they were being denied a basic human right by being “told not to pray”.

The group gathered to pray for peace on university campuses across the country and for the well-being of students who have been arrested during violent protest action.

The meeting lasted no longer than two minutes before police intervened. The students dispersed peacefully, some quietly snickering and clicking their tongues as they walked away.

UKZN theology lecturer Dr Clint le Bruyns, who was at the helm of the prayer meeting, said afterwards there is a national crisis in education and in the midst of that crisis, there is “trauma, violence and division”, which is not conducive to learning and teaching.

Le Bruyns said the prayer initiative came after consultations between students, staff and members of the public as a means of joining together to “strengthen spirits, to encourage, to counsel, to pray and support one another in solidarity”.

“Every Tuesday when we show up, it is public and transparent but we are immediately met with overwhelming intimidation and interrogation to the point that police, private security and campus security want to analyse what we are saying while praying,” Le Bruyns said.

“They analyse the content to see if it is political in nature. These are the same things that went on during apartheid.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  ukzn protests

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