UKZN campus burns as protest boils over

Jeff Wicks, News24

Durban - Police and security guards are engaged in rolling battles with a mob of students that set fire to buildings and destroyed vehicles at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus on Monday.

The students have pelted police with stones and bottles and blockaded roads leading to residences with burning barricades.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed that detectives were investigating.

"We can confirm that Westville Police Station is investigating a case of malicious damage to property and public violence which happened at UKZN Westville campus.

"It is alleged that vehicles were damaged and set alight by the suspects. The motive of the attack is unknown and no arrest has been made at this stage," he said.

A police source, who could not be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said that Public Order Policing unit members and security officials had been involved in pitch battles with students all morning.

"Last night a mob of students attacked the administration block and threw petrol bombs through the windows and set fire to the whole place," he said.

The source added that the group then turned their attention to the security infrastructure on campus, attacking guards inside a security control room.

"They overturned two vehicles and then set them on fire before throwing petrol bombs at the office. Luckily the guards managed to escape through a back door," he said.