20 arrested after protests at UKZN Westville Campus

UKZN says the protests were initially sparked by possible fee increments for next year.

FILE: Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police have arrested 20 students after protests erupted at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)'s Westville Campus this morning.

UKZN says the protests were initially sparked by possible fee increments for the next academic year, but students then added another list of demands, which the university says it cannot meet.

At least six cars were torched during overnight demonstrations at the institution.

Police say 20 students were arrested this morning, but not in connection with those incidents.

The police's Thulani Zwane says, "We are not sure if the 20 students who were arrested have been linked to last night's incident."


Meanwhile, UKZN says due to protest action by a number of students, it has suspended all academic activities until further notice.

It says a number of buildings have been damaged in the past two weeks and the situation on its campuses remains volatile.

The UKZN's Lesiba Seshoka says even though initially these protests were about fee increases, students then brought forward another 72 demands.

Seshoka says they could not agree to two of them.

"They're demanding that the president of the SRC, myself on the university's executive management committee (sic)."

Seshoka says students want the university to suspend academic activities until a meeting is held with the SRC.

"We're not able to accommodate that kind of demand, because it would mean that the entire academic year will be lost."

No arrests have been made in connection with yesterday's incidents and no suspects have been identified.