As photos of a burnt library circulate, a community of concerned Facebookers have taken to social media with disgust saying that UKZN student strikers have gone too far.
Student strikes across the board at UKZN have reached new heights with fires, rape allegations and the chilling images of charred books scattered across a library grave.
Earlier this week, at Westville campus, six cars were torched and one building went up in flames resulting in multiple student arrests. On the same day, Howard College Campus in Durban saw the law library alight and the iconic Howard college building ablaze while a nearby residence fire endangered 68 physically challenged female students who had to be evacuated.
However, according to the UKZN SRC, strike action has been peaceful with marching and singing to protest against “fee increments,” “poor residency conditions” and to advocate for the SRC to have a space on the executive management committee of UKZN. Sunshine Myende, a member of the SRC in Durban said: “We don’t know who has been burning the buildings, we are traumatized and hurt by these actions and hope that the university will conduct a proper investigation.”
The tally of arrests is up to 42 students from UKZN’s Westville and Howard College campuses.
Provincial spokesperson for the SAPS, Col Thulani Zwane confirmed that 25 students were arrested at UKZN’s Westville Campus and were to appear in court today.
A further 17 students were arrested at Howard College Campus in Durban said Zwane.
A peaceful march was held at Pietermaritzburg campus yesterday to protest against the alleged rape of a female student. Students participating in the strike claimed that an SAPS officer had raped one woman and assaulted another during a strike on Monday. “We are aware of the allegations, but no case has been opened and we appeal to the victim to come forward,”said Zwane.
Deputy President of the SRC on Pietermaritzburg campus, Nomonde Zondo said that the rape had been reported to SAPS.
UKZN are yet to comment on the strike action.