The University of KwaZulu-Natal says 68 physically challenged female students had to be evacuated from their residence at its Durban campus on Tuesday night, following a fire.
A bed mattress was apparently set alight at the residence, the Charles James Hall, after eight o’clock.
This is the latest in a series of incidents at several UKZN campuses after students embarked on a protest last week demanding a zero fee increase.
No-one was injured in the latest fire.
A female student who asked to remain anonymous says: “There were a couple of bangs on my door I thought it was something not hectic. I walked out to flames of fire outside, down the passage where there was the fridge and the actual bed. Then it struck me there’s a fire that has started. That’s when I decided to run down to ensure everyone else is out and to ensure fire extinguishers were pulled out so we could at least try and stop this fire.”
The university has suspended classes for the next two weeks as a result of the protests.
President of the Howard College SRC, Bandile Majola, says incidents like Tuesday’s fire are not aiding the students cause.
He says: “Burning of infrastructure is setting us back. It is diverting attention from our cause. We have a very just cause and we believe that fighting for it does not amount to this. What they are doing is not only affecting us the current students but students that are coming. I cannot be proud as an SRC president to see the institution that I am leaving burning. I am not proud of that.”[Source: SABC]