The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) was shut down yesterday (February 4) after violent protests at the Westville and Howard College campuses. Central SRC secretary general at UKZN Siyabonga Khumalo said financial exclusion was the main reason for the protests. “Students must pay 50% of money [they owe in order] to register. We are saying this is not possible. It’s hard for people to come up with that much money at this time of year.”

Two cars were burnt on the respective campuses and police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd. Tyres, trees and other objects were also burnt to create makeshift barricades, blocking the police. Protests are also ongoing at Mangosuthu University and the Durban University of Technology.

Meanwhile The University of Witwatersrand (WITS) saw a group of close to 100 protesting students disrupt classes over registration and lack of accommodation yesterday. SRC president Sisanda Aluta stated that university management failed to make provisions for emergency accommodation and historic debts which had been agreed to. One student was injured this morning after private security stepped in when a group of 30 students wanted to occupy the main part of Solomon Mahlangu House to protest against a lack of accommodation on campus.