17 August 2018

South Africa: 12 More Students Arrested On UKZN's Westville Campus

Twelve more students were arrested for public violence at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville campus on Friday.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala told News24 that the students were arrested during violent clashes with police and Mi7 security guards on the campus.

"Two security guard houses were set alight, but there were no injuries reported," she said.

The students used different objects, including furniture, to block off the main road between the Oval and the P Block residences.

Gwala added that the university's furniture and some doors had been damaged during the protest.

Students allegedly pelted security officials with stones.

Water cannons and teargas were used to disperse the students, Gwala said, and the situation was now calm.

The university told News24 on Wednesday that the academic programme at the Westville campus would only resume on Friday, following this week's protests.

The protest began on Monday after students raised issues relating to the administration of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), shuttle service timetables, WiFi connection problems and amenities at some residences.

Seventeen students were arrested for public violence on Monday, while one was arrested at the campus on Tuesday.

University spokesperson Normah Zondo said on Friday that the academic programme had to be suspended.

"This after a group of students barricaded roads, damaged property and disrupted lectures. The university is in the process of assessing the damage.

She said the university's Risk Management Services and police had assisted to disperse the protesters.

"Twelve students were arrested for public violence," she confirmed.

She said management would continue to engage with student leadership in an effort to resolve the grievances.

"Students are encouraged to continue with their academic obligations at home. Every effort will be made to recover the academic year," she said.

Source: News24

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