Home South African WATCH: Beds burn, rubber bullets fly as UKZN students clash with security

WATCH: Beds burn, rubber bullets fly as UKZN students clash with security

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Police and campus security fought running battles with students using teargas and rubber bullets in an effort to contain the upsurge in violence.

Durban-  Burnt beds, washing machines, rubber bullet casings and fire extinguishers were strewn on the road at University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus on Wednesday as rampaging students brought the campus to a standstill.

Even the heavy rains that pelted Durban did not prevent the angry students from protesting as they ramped up their violent campaign against historical debt payment.

Police and campus security fought running battles with students using teargas and rubber bullets in an effort to contain the upsurge in violence.

Students told the Daily News that events began at about 5am and that some of them who were not involved got caught in the crossfire. 

Police and campus security fought running battles with students using teargas and rubber bullets in an effort to contain the upsurge in violence. Video: Supplied

“We got woken up with teargas in the morning and rubber bullets being fired, ” a student who did not want to be named said.

Another student said they were getting punished for the scrapping of the university requirement if having to pay 15 percent towards their student debt and that they were being attacked in their own dormitories rooms. 

It is this 15 percent that students and UKZN management have been fighting over for the past month. 

The students argue that the university’s requirement all students pay at least 15%  of their historical debt – capped at R45 000 – before registering for the new year will exclude poor students from studying. 

Police and campus security fought running battles with students using teargas and rubber bullets in an effort to contain the upsurge in violence. Video: Supplied

The university, on the other hand, argues that it already has R1.7 billion in debt and it cannot make any more concessions. 

This impasse has resulted in numerous protests and has also resulted in buildings and cars being set alight over the past month. 

Wednesday’s protest is the latest in a long line of incidents that have rocked the university and has on occasion led to the university’s academic program being put on hold.

Police and UKZN security were out in force on campus.

This is a developing story.

Daily News