UKZN student protest

Image via: @Abramjee Twitter

Watch: Protesting UKZN students clash with Casspir

KwaZulu-Natal SAPS confirmed that about 120 students were alleged to be involved in the UKZN Westville Campus protests.

UKZN student protest

Image via: @Abramjee Twitter

In a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday 19 February, up to eight people, alleged to be University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) students from its Westville Campus in Durban, appear to be stoning a Casspir. 

The video posted to Twitter labelled the incident as having taken place at the Thekwini Springfield Campus, however, police confirmed that it took place at UKZN. 

Watch: UKZN students attempt to take down Casspir

Here’s what can be seen in the video

In the video, which appears to be taken from a UKZN student’s dorm room, up to eight people believed to be students, can be seen throwing things at a Casspir and climbing it while it moves.

Students can be heard shouting, while others can be heard laughing. 

Around 120 UKZN students alleged to be involved   

The video, according to KZN police, did not capture all the events. 

KZN police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a case of public violence had been opened for investigation by Westville South African Police Service (SAPS). 

“This morning at 05:00, a group of about 120 students gathered at UKZN Westville campus where they blockaded the road, burned mattresses and fridges,” said Gwala. 

Another thing that couldn’t be seen in the video, were students allegedly setting the campus’s gymnasium alight. 

“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,” said Gwala. 

At 9:15, Gwala said the situation was quiet and police were monitoring the situation.

UKZN extends registration period

UKZN announced on Tuesday 11 February that it would extend the period in which students can register and make payments up until 6 March — this, after intensified protests on 27 January.

Ongoing discussions between the SLC and the University Executive led to the Howard College at UKZN being shut down.

SLC chairperson Mphathi Majola emerged from the discussions and vowed to intensify the protests as the academic programme remained suspended indefinitely.

“There was no movement from the side of the management,” he said. “We will intensify the strike.”

It is believed that a large group of returning students disrupted proceedings after they were told that those with historical debt, had to pay at least 15% of the total amount to qualify for registration.

UKZN students have made it clear that they cannot afford this and that the promises of free higher education, once made by former president Jacob Zuma, need to be kept by the government.

Students have also protested over accommodation shortages.