18 February 2019

South Africa: Student Protests Flare Up in Durban, March to the City Hall Planned

Photo: (Supplied)
Student protests have intensified in various parts of Durban with widespread damage across the city.

Students from various institutions in Durban are planning a mass march to Durban City Hall on Monday, metro police have said.

Several protests, mainly involving universities, flared up from Sunday evening as students took issue with housing, fees and the death of Durban University of Technology (DUT) student Mlungisi Madonsela.

"There are several groups of students from various universities in the city that will be marching to city hall this morning," metro police spokesperson Parbhoo Sewpersad told News24.

He said that the protests would begin at Curries Fountain at 11:00 and head through Winterton Wharf, Alice Street, Grey Street, West Street and Pixley KaSeme Street to the city hall.

According to Sewpersad, metro police were kept busy since last night after University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) students living in Hospital Road, South Beach, started protesting.

"We found students throwing their belongings, including beds, mattresses and other items, out of their windows. Our immediate response was to close off the roadway and not let people through."

A student who spoke to News24 on condition of anonymity said they were unhappy about residence conditions.

"We are crammed in here and there is a lot of money going to the landlord. We are not animals, we are people. This cannot continue."

Sewpersad said police were on the scene monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, at Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), longstanding fees issues relating to National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding brought the university to a standstill on Monday morning.

"Students closed off the main gate, burnt tyres and blocked the main road. Police are at that scene also," Sewpersad said.

Source: News24

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