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UKZN protest turns violent as students, security clash at Westville campus

Students had been staging protests over the past two weeks against the university’s demand that some students pay a portion of their historic debt before they can register.

A video screengrab of violent and chaotic scenes during student protests at UKZN’s Westville campus on 19 February 2020.

DURBAN - Violent and chaotic scenes played out the University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN)’s Westville campus where protestors clashed with private security guards hired by the institution.

Students had been staging protests over the past two weeks against the university’s demand that some students pay a portion of their historic debt before they can register.

Protestors at UKZN’s Westville campus were seen attacking a private security company inyala in the morning and throwing stones at private security guards hired by the institution.

In retaliation, the guards were also seen throwing stones and attacking student residences.

Student Representative Council president Sifiso Simelane said they condemned the violence and believed that it could have been avoided.

“What we are trying to highlight is that this is frustration from students about these issues. The students want the university to review the issues of historic debt, financial clearance, and proper accommodation. The management has said that this issue is beyond them and they can’t entertain the issue anymore,” Simelane said.

In a statement, UKZN’s Indumathie Naidoo said one of the three entrances to the campus was blocked earlier on Wednesday but had since been cleared.

She said the police and university security were monitoring the situation.