Students given time to reflect as UKZN academic activities suspended

Academic activities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) have been suspended until 20 September in the midst of protest action which turned violent in the university's Westville, Pietermaritzburg and Howard College campuses.

The university decided to approach law enforcement and get an interdict after property was damaged on campuses

Lesiba Seshoka, UKZN spokesperson

Protests at the university turned violent after a standoff on Monday evening between students and security personnel.

About six cars were torched in the process... Today there was another standoff between the students again and the police

Mandla Dlamini, UKZN SRC Member (Student Services Officers)

On Tuesday, some students went to campus to attend lectures, but found themselves in the standoff between protesting students and security.

Some students allege to have been shot at and injured during this standoff.

Speaking to #NightTalk's Gugs Mhlungu and Sizwe Dhlomo, UKZN SRC Member Mandla Dlamini says that the students were following the advice of UKZN vice-chancellor Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, who allegedly sent students an email telling them to attend lectures today.

The VC misled the students. You can't say everything is normal on campus when students are being shot at

Mandla Dlamini, UKZN SRC Member (Student Services Officers)

Listen to the conversation below:

According to students who called into #NightTalk, the UKZN student protest started on 15 August after negotiations on fee increases between students and the university did not go well.

The students are critical that students who are not participating in the protest are also being treated brutally by security.

UKZN spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka condemned the torching of buildings and cars during the protest and said that the perpetrators must be prosecuted.

Seshoka also says that the suspension of academic activities at UKZN will provide the opportunity for students to reflect on the issues affecting the university's campuses.

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