KZN students shot with rubber bullets and paintballs

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ACADEMIC programmes were yet again disrupted at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus in the KZN Midlands yesterday.

Disruptions continued at the University of KwaZulu Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus yesterday. Photo by: Mawande Dlali Photo by Mawande Dlali
Disruptions continued at the University of KwaZulu Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus yesterday. Photo by: Mawande Dlali Photo by Mawande Dlali

Cops and security guards had to use rubber bullets and paintballs to disperse thousands of students who had gathered in front of the campus building singing struggle songs.

It was the third day that lectures were disrupted due to protests over the issue of poor living conditions.

Protesting students fear that Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande may announce an increase in university fees for the 2017 academic year.

The unrest started on Monday on all five campuses of the university, which include Howard College, Westville, Edgewood and the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine.

Lectures are said to have resumed everywhere, except for the Pietermaritzburg campus.

Mbali Makhanya (22), a student at the campus, said students were frustrated that an increase in university fees may force some out of the university.

“We heard the minister will announce the news before the end of this month. The suspense is killing us,” she said.

University spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said they would forward a media statement – which had not arrived by the time of going to print.

Cops spokesman Constable Mthokozisi Ngobese confirmed the shooting, but denied that police had shown aggression.

“The shooting was because students would not disperse although they had been warned to do so several times,” said Ngobese.

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