Bins set on fire, registration disrupted in ongoing UKZN unrest

Violent protests have broken out at UKZN campuses in Durban. (Supplied)
Violent protests have broken out at UKZN campuses in Durban. (Supplied)

More violence broke out at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) on Thursday in yet another day of unrest at Durban campuses this week.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said around 100 students gathered at Howard Campus and disrupted registration.

"They went into the Shepstone Building registration point and activated a fire extinguisher and dispersed the students who were waiting to register."

ALSO READ: 4 students arrested as UKZN violence escalates, car torched

He said the students became violent.

"They then proceeded to set bins on fire behind the library. Public order police were deployed to arrest the offenders. The students ran into various parts of the campus when approached by police. The situation is being monitored. No injuries were reported. The fire was extinguished," he added.

Naicker said four students were arrested on Wednesday afternoon after a student's vehicle was set alight.

There were clashes from the early hours of Wednesday morning at UKZN's Westville campus when security officers spotted about 600 students approaching the security building at around 01:00.

They allegedly had petrol bombs and stones, forcing security guards to flee. When the security officers returned, they found that the building had been set on fire.

ALSO READ: Tensions rise at UKZN as building set alight while hundreds of students protest

News24 earlier reported that around 1 000 students gathered at Howard Campus and started the disruptions at around 07:00, also on Wednesday.

They allegedly forced other students to join them before moving to Princess Alice Street and set Durban Solid Waste bins on fire. Registration at the campus was suspended.

Historical debt

The protests are part of a national student drive to have historical debt scrapped so that they can register for the academic year. Unisa's campus in Durban was also affected and registration there came to a halt on Monday.

UKZN spokesperson Ashton Bodrick previously denounced the protests as criminal behaviour. He said security staff and police worked tirelessly to safeguard the university community and called the violence a "grave act of arson".

Bodrick said that while they respected students' right to protest, there was no excuse for any act of violence and damage to university resources and property.

He said all incidents of assault, the destruction of property and incidents of arson were being investigated by the university's risk management services and police.

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