UKZN students to bail out those arrested during violent protests
SRC's Bongekile Ngobese says she believes the detained students were randomly selected by officials.
JOHANNESBURG - Students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal say they will this morning bail out 23 of their peers who were arrested during a violent protests at the Westville campus.
The protests which were initially sparked by dissatisfaction over fees soon resulted in students calling for other issues including housing, racism and sexual assault to be addressed.
Demonstrations also spread to the institutions Pietermaritzburg and Howard campuses.
While there were acts of arson and vandalism police say the group wasn't arrested in connection with the incidents.
Student Representative Council member Bongekile Ngobese says she believes the detained students were randomly selected by officials.
"They didn't do anything. Everyone was arrested; if you were walking outside and then they took you and lock you up. It's not like they found someone doing anything wrong. So they were just arresting everyone, even students who were sitting in the cafeteria."
Earlier, the African National Congress Youth League has condemned the burning of property at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The league's general secretary, Njabulo Nzuza, says by destroying property the students are destroying their futures.
"They go to the extent of burning libraries which are reservoirs of knowledge, which we should all be using for the future and safeguarding for our children. It's uncalled for and it must stop, it must not happen."
The protests appeared to reach a climax on Tuesday night when several cars and the library were set alight.
Police said those arrested would be charged with public order offences as investigations into the torching of the buildings and vehicles continued.
"The library was burnt and were are still investigating this crime," police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said.
University students are awaiting to hear whether there will be an increase in 2017 tuition fees as the government and universities hold talks to determine the fee structure.
South Africa was rocked last year by weeks of angry demonstrations over the cost of university education, forcing President Jacob Zuma to rule out fee raises planned for this year.
Many black students are frustrated by the inequalities that persist two decades after the end of white-minority rule. They argue that raising fees will further disadvantage black students who had little access to universities under apartheid.
STUDENT EXPECTED TO LEAVE THEIR RESIDENCES
Students at all University of KwaZulu-Natal campuses are expected to start leaving their residences this morning after classes were suspended due to ongoing protests.
Calm has been restored at the Howard Campus for now, with a few students leaving with their parents.
Many others are also expected to leave their residences today and tomorrow following the suspension of classes until later this month.
Police are continuing to monitor the situation.