On March 1, 2022, a group of about 10 students reportedly set fire to a vehicle and damaged a building at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). The incident follows a rise in violent student protests at UKZN over registration, historical debt, tuition fees, and housing accommodations.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the destruction of campus property in the course of a student protest. While students and other protesters have a right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, they also have a responsibility to exercise these rights peacefully and responsibly. The destruction of campus property harms the ability of higher education communities to safely and adequately conduct research, teaching, and other academic activities. State authorities have a responsibility to protect higher education communities, investigate threats, and hold perpetrators responsible. Such incidents undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).