WATCH | Varsity gym, mattresses and fridges set alight in student protests at UKZN

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This image of UKZN Westville campus was captured last year during student protests
This image of UKZN Westville campus was captured last year during student protests
Picture: Jabulani Langa, City Press

More than 100 University of KwaZulu-Natal students burnt their mattresses and fridges and damaged university property during early morning protests on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said that around 120 students gathered at 05:00 and blockaded the road to the Westville campus.

"They burned mattresses and fridges. They also set alight the gymnasium situated at the campus. The Public Order Police and local police are at the scene to stabilise and monitor the situation. The situation is quiet now, police are monitoring."

She added that a case of public violence was under investigation. This is the second time this month that students at the university tried to torch the gym.

Westville student representative council (SRC) chairperson Sifiso Malema told News24 that they wanted the university council to meet them.

university of kwa zulu natal

University of KwaZulu-Natal student protests on Wednesday, February 19. (Images supplied to News24) 

"I want to state that we do not condone any violence. This morning was not us. We do, however, want the university council to meet with us. They are resuming the academic programme, but we have not resolved our issues."

Earlier this month, the office building of the campus' HIV and Aids Support Unit at the Howard College campus was burnt down.

Two buildings at the Pietermaritzburg campus, including a guard house and a kitchen, were also burnt down in the early hours of the morning in early February.

university of kwa-zulu natal

University of KwaZulu-Natal student protests on Wednesday, February 19. (Images supplied to News24) 

UKZN spokesperson Indu Moodley said that despite the violence, the academic programme "is continuing as scheduled on all campuses".

"This morning, one of the three entrances to the Westville campus was blocked but has since been cleared. South African Police Service and university security are currently monitoring the situation."

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