Violence breaks out at UKZN Westville

2016-10-10 15:54
UKZN campus. (File)

UKZN campus. (File) (Jeff Wicks)

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Durban – The University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville campus resembled a warzone on Monday following violent clashes between authorities and protesting students.

Initially, around 100 protesters embarked on #FeesMustFall protests in the quad, a common area at the campus.

This quickly turned into all out violence after students began hurling bottles, rocks and appliances at authorities.  

An MI 7 security vehicle was rushed and overturned by about 100 students, also in the quad area.

However, the action quickly moved to the residences on the campus where students hurled more bottles and rocks at police.

Holding a strategic advantage over authorities, students hurled objects including fire extinguishers from their windows on the first floor. Some hurled ironing boards and fridges.

Tables were also used as shields against police. One officer was seriously injured following an object cutting him on his wrist.

Police responded with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets. Often at times, police were outnumbered having to deal with merciless violence from a core group of violent protesters.

The university has since been shut down the campus until further notice.

In a statement, university spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said in an effort to restore calm, all academic activities would be suspended on Monday.

“The suspension is for today and until further notice. It is hoped that during this period, we will be able to locate and arrest those individuals that are perpetuating violence on campus.”

He added: “The university community is cautioned to desist from engaging in unlawful protest action. Action will be taken against any individuals found to be in contravention of the High Court interdict in place.”

A group of students appear to have been detained at the university Risk Management Services office. It is unclear if they will be charged for any crimes. 

Read more on:    ukzn  |  university fees  |  university protests

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