Student protesters storm private college in central Durban

Protestors on Monday left parents and students baffled when they stormed the premises of a private college in Durban.
Protestors on Monday left parents and students baffled when they stormed the premises of a private college in Durban.
Image: Jason Chapman

Prospective students and parents busy with registrations were left stunned when protesters stormed the Durban campus of a private college on Monday.

Students entered Rosebank College in central Durban and caused "minor" damage when they attempted to disrupt registration.

Dr Felicity Coughlan‚ director of the Independent Institute of Education (IIE) that operates Rosebank College throughout the country‚ said staff‚ parents and prospective students were shocked by the incident.

"While we respect the right of students to protest and [to] freedom of expression‚ we are not at all happy in the way that the message was delivered‚ in that it involved intimidation. It was also to a misguided audience‚" she said.

Coughlan said while it was difficult to assume the political affiliation of the protesters or where they came from‚ they were wearing T-shirts affiliated to the South African Students Congress (Sasco) and the EFF Student Command (EFFSC).

Both student organisations protested at the Durban University of Technology's Steve Biko and City campuses and at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Howard and Westville campuses as part of the KZN shutdown campaign.

The protest is aimed at closing various tertiary institutions from Monday to highlight various concerns relating to fees‚ allowances and security.

Coughlan said the protesters left after a while and caused "little damage"‚ which they believe to be unintentional. "It was not monumental‚" she said‚ adding that this was the first time such an incident had occurred.

"We are looking at how the students entered the campus and got past security‚ although it must be noted that we are not a lock-down facility."

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