UKZN suspends academic programme after violent protests
The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) suspended academic activities on Monday after protests at campuses.
Normah Zondo, UKZN’s corporate relations executive director, said in a statement on Monday that the decision was taken after “incidents of violence and intimidation” reported at some of their campuses on Monday.
“It has been reported that some student leaders have been intimidating members of staff by entering buildings and demanding that activities be halted. There have also been blockages to some entrances to prevent staff from accessing campus.”
Zondo said these were “acts of criminality” and the university would take appropriate action as it had received reports of stone-throwing, damage to property and physical assaults on innocent staff members.
“Not only are these acts illegal they are also disadvantaging all students who are intent on learning at the university. The health and safety of our employees and all students is our priority. Considering the threat that seems to be imminent, university management felt it prudent to suspend lectures for the rest of this week. This means that the university shuttle service will also be suspended.”
She said management would engage with the official student representative council on Tuesday to discuss their memorandum presented on Monday in an effort to respond to students’ needs and “ensure a conducive learning environment on our campuses”.
Zondo said the university would continue to work with the police and their private security to monitor the campuses in the interests of students, staff and property.
She said that online registration will continue with about 60% of expected students having already completed the process.
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