With almost every flare-up, the spoils are the same: registration is delayed, infrastructure and private property are damaged, the academic calendar is temporarily suspended and running battles take place between campus security, police and some students. During the violent Fees Must Fall movement over 2015 and 2016, UKZN was estimated to have recorded R262-million in damages.
The survival of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) as a force in South African academics is under threat as student violence continues year-on-year, causing irreparable harm in the eyes of the public, potential students, current students, staff and donors.
This year alone, according to the institution, it had already registered R31-million in damages.
This is as a result of a relatively small group of angry, destructive students who appear to be leaderless and comfortable with criminal behaviour, relying on the most base of human instincts to try achieve their demands.
Daily Maverick spoke to more than a dozen people for the purposes of this article. The majority were reluctant to be named, saying they feared for their safety, the safety of their children or the security of their jobs.
The protests at UKZN have been recorded almost annually for the good part of a...