Situation calm at UKZN's Westville campus following violent protests over WiFi and NSFAS administration

The academic programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville campus will only resume on Friday following this week's violent protests at the campus – the university said on Wednesday.

The protest began on Monday after students raised issues relating to the administration of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), shuttle service timetables, WiFi connection problems and amenities at some residences.

Seventeen students were arrested for public violence on Monday, while one was arrested at the campus on Tuesday.

Read: 17 students arrested after clashing with cops at UKZN's Westville campus

University spokesperson Normah Zondo said only Westville campus would be affected by the suspension from Tuesday until Thursday.

"This follows protest action on the campus yesterday (Tuesday) morning. The suspension will allow university management to engage with student leadership and find amicable solutions," she said.  

Zondo said university management responded to the memorandum that was submitted by the Student Representative Council.

Read more: UKZN Westville suspends lectures amid protests

She said they committed to resolve matters regarding maintenance of amenities in certain student residences, including "problems with WiFi connection, matters of academic exclusion, the shuttle services timetable, and NSFAS administration". 

A student who spoke to News24 on condition of anonymity said they would only find out on Friday whether the protest would continue or not.

Captain Nqobile Gwala said the situation was calm at the campus on Wednesday.