The students of University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) have set the HIV support centre on fire at Howard College campus on Monday amid protests over historical debt, Daily News reported.
Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said the building was set alight on Monday morning as lectures were about to commence.
The incident makes it the second building that was set alight by the students following the Risk Management Services building at Westville campus being set alight last week.
A video then emerged on Twitter of student housing in flames.
The violent protests led to the suspension of orientation week and registration after a number of arrests were made.
The students were allegedly armed with rocks and sticks against campus security before setting the building alight.
Some of the university’s services were shut down as result.
The university’s management and Student Representative Council (SRC) were in talks, which are at a standstill, following the students’ demand for historical debt and financial exclusion to be scrapped.
UKZN management said the university had already an amount of R1.7 billion of student debt and that they were trying their best to assist the students.
Elsewhere, Unisa management was also contending with a staff strike over salary increases and occupational health and safety matters.
Sewpersad said they had been deployed to campuses around the city to prevent violence.
He said joint deployments from the SAPS, metro and private security guards would be present to prevent flare-ups of violence this week.
Sewpersad urged security companies to ensure they were on the ground and in large numbers when protests erupted.
He said police had noticed that students targeted security guards during the protests.
He urged students to refrain from violence.