While mayhem at various universities continues with no end in sight, violence broke out at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Pietermaritzburg campus yesterday.
Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, police spokesperson Colonel Thulani Zwane said the protesting students stoned passing vehicles and also tried to set alight the residences at the campus in question.
A student was taken to hospital after being injured during the protests.
“They also barricaded several roads in the vicinity with burning tyres and rubble.
“Our police officers will continue to monitor the situation,” Zwane said yesterday afternoon.
The university said while all academic activities were suspended yesterday, it expects lectures to resume today.
Several universities around the country have since suspended all academic activities in the wake of the protests which initially started at the University of the Witwatersand in Johannesburg on Monday, moments after Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande announced it was up to universities to determine tuition fee increases.
The announcement did not sit well with students, some of which are now demanding free education for all.
Elsewhere, the North West University (NWU) Mafikeng campus also called on all students to vacate the residences “for their own safety”.
Nearby, the leader of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), Troy Mathebula, said students have made it clear they will also take to the streets if their demands are not met. Before noon, VUT management advised staff members to leave the campus.
Mathebula said students decided to force a shutdown, claiming that management failed to accede to their demands.
Meanwhile, students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) will meet next week when their academic recess ends to discuss looming 2017 fee hikes. The UJ SRC said yesterday the consultative meeting would discuss student debt, the use of bouncers and “victimisation of students”.
Students this week also protested for free education at the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.