Police arrest rioting university students

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

More than 100 students at the Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, were arrested yesterday.

The incident marked the third day of riots by students at the campus. The students went on strike on Monday to protest against management's failure to improve the standard of education and service delivery at the university.

Police fired rubber bullets at protesting students, who retaliated by throwing stones, rocks and bottles at the police as they tried to disperse them.

The students burnt tyres and used tree trunks to block the busy highway near the university. Rubbish and broken bottles were thrown all over the road, making it impossible for motorists to drive through.

Police arrested some students, bundling them into a waiting police van.

In a circular to the students on Wednesday, management said the university would be closed if they failed to return to classes by midday yesterday.

The ultimatum was ignored and clashes between the police and students continued.

Three students, members of the students representative council, Ntokozo Zwane, Sphamandla Buthelezi, and Ntokozo Zwane, were suspended.

Though management said it was willing to resume negotiations yesterday, the students declined to take part before the suspended and the arrested students were back on campus.

Police spokesman Khephu Ndlovu confirmed that 125 students were arrested during the chaos and were being held at the Umlazi police station.

He said the students are expected to appear in court soon on charges of public violence and causing malicious damage to property.