UKZN granted interdict against protesting students

News24 correspondent

Pietermaritzburg - Protesting University of KwaZulu-Natal students must stop damaging university property and interfering with its activities, the Pietermaritzburg High Court ordered on Tuesday.

Judge Mahendra Chetty granted this urgent order after a succession of disruptions.

Tee SA Police Service was also directed to assist the university's security and risk management staff in ensuring that the interdict was implemented on the university's premises.

The urgent application was made because all efforts to diffuse the situation had failed and the university said it had reliably learnt that the protest action would continue and start on other campuses.

Respondents included the Central Student Representative Council and five associated student councils at the Westville, Howard College, Edgewood, Nelson Mandela School of Medicine and Pietermaritzburg campuses.

The administration believed protest action would harm its functions and endanger the lives of its staff and students.

The interdict also restrained respondents from assaulting, intimidating, harming or harassing people, as well as removing any of its property; or barricading or interfering with entrances or access points.

They were also restrained from organising, instigating or co-ordinating unlawful gatherings, demonstrations or mass actions on the premises and taking part in unlawful activities.

The university's prescribed regulations and procedures must be followed for grievances, demands, intended marches,
gatherings, protests, rallies or demonstrations.

Included in the court documents was a copy of a police statement by a female staff member who said protesting students had turned on a fire hose in the passage of her home, had broken three of her windows and sprayed water through it.

Photographs of protesting students, some of them carrying batons, also formed part of the court documents.