On Friday, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Howard College students were engaged in a heated interaction against Metro Police, SAPS and private security company MI7. These three forces had united to stop a student and worker protest against outsourcing. Students were standing in solidarity with the workers who have stopped working for the past two weeks. QINISO MBILI captured images of the action.
The students initially gathered outside the Malherbe library peacefully singing struggle songs and holding up their placards. They demanded that the library be closed while they protested.
Armed with guns, teargas, flash bangs and stun grenades, the police kept a close eye on the angry students.
When the students felt intimidated by the police, they moved to another spot on campus to gather and sing.
Seemingly unprovoked, police fired stun grenades at the students and the students had to disperse.
The students later gathered in front of the law building, overlooking the parking space where student leaders were involved in a heated argument with the police for dispersing peaceful students.
Private security guards watched this all unfold. Students say they do not want the security forces on their campus.
After days of unrest on campus, the institution remains open and business continues as usual.
The students say they are protesting in solidarity with the workers in order to speed up the universityâ€™s reaction. The students want the cleaners to come back to work as soon as possible as the dirt piles up day by day and threatens the studentsâ€™ health.
RELATED: UKZN workers on outsourcing: “My dignity as a human being is reduced to nothing”
Four people have been arrested as a result of the past daysâ€™ unrest. The four detainees, two cleaners and two students, were denied bail this past weekend and continue to seek legal assistance. Cleaners and students at the campus vow to continue with the struggle until university does something about insourcing.
All images by Qiniso Mbili