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Protest-gripped UKZN calls off all lectures this week

Firefighters douse a fire that broke out at UKZN's Pietermaritzburg campus on Monday night.
Firefighters douse a fire that broke out at UKZN's Pietermaritzburg campus on Monday night.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The embattled University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) suspended lectures at all its campuses on Tuesday following a wave of fiery protests.

"In view of the ongoing disruptions, the University of KwaZulu-Natal has taken a decision to suspend with immediate effect the academic programme on all campuses until Friday February 7,"  said spokesperson Ashton Bodrick.

"The academic programme will resume on Monday February 10.

"The decision to suspend academic activities was taken in the best interests of the university," added Bodrick.

Fiery protests spread to the university’s Pietermaritzburg campus, where a guardhouse and a kitchen attached to a student examination hall went up in flames on Monday night. The exam hall itself did not catch fire.

Shortly before the alleged arson incident, protesters hurled stones and bottles at vehicles driving past the campus.

At the university's Westville campus, protesters set fire to a section of the gymnasium and a mobile office.

The protests come after an office building of the HIV/Aids support unit at the Howard College campus in Durban was torched on Monday.

At the Edgewood campus, which houses the university of school education, a car was set on fire.

Students are protesting about funding issues - particularly the 15% of their historic debt that they are required to pay before they are cleared for registration.

The Student Representative Council (SRC) said on Monday that it had reached an impasse in negotiations with the university managers.

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