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Chaos at University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Students burn furniture and appliances in protest over accommodation

Photo of burnt stove and debrisStudents set fire to litter, appliances and furniture in a protest at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Westville Campus, on Friday. 17 were arrested. Water canons were used to disperse the student protesters. Photo: Nomfundo Xolo

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Students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Westville Campus took to the streets again on Friday to protest over the poor conditions of their residences, a lack of transport, failure to receive their NSFAS funding, and poor Wifi connection on campus.

A student boycott of classes began early this week and led to the suspension of the academic programme. According to university management, classes were suspended in an effort to restore calm and ensure safety of students and staff.

The university re-opened on Friday, but soon classes were disrupted after protests broke out. The campus was left littered with bottles, rocks, toilets, and furniture and appliances. Students set fire to the litter, appliances and furniture. Water cannons were used to disperse them. Students retaliated by throwing stones.

Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala said, “The students gathered at the campus where they threw bottles at police officers, also blocking the access road at the university with furniture. So far, 17 students have been arrested for public violence.”

A heavy campus security and SAPS presence is now on site. Clearing of the road has also begun.

article origionally written by GroundUp