'The higher education system does not need to come to a state of pandemonium'

A vehicle has been torched in protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal despite the institution assuring journalists that calm has been restored at its Howard Campus.

Students have been demonstrating since Monday over fees debt.

RELATED: UKZN says students must sign acknowledgement of debt form before registering

Eyewitness News reporter Nkosikhona Duma has more on the story. He says four students have been arrested.

The university did call a media briefing saying everything has calmed down, that registration is going smoothly for most students but it doesn't seem that is the case. Police say the people who set alight that vehicle were protesting students.

Nkosikhona Duma, Reporter - EWN

Click on the link below to hear more...

Meanwhile the North West University SRC legal officer at NWU Trevor Tshabalala says reports that the institution has been evacuated due to violent protests is false and that demonstrations have been peaceful.

Campus does have students as we speak, so whatever has been told to majority of people in the media is complete fallacy.

Trevor Tshabalala, SRC legal officer - North West University

It has been a peaceful protest so far, nothing has been burnt, there is no altercations or violence. It is a peaceful march whereby we are rendering our demands and unfortunately management to this day has not responded to any of our demands.

Trevor Tshabalala, SRC legal officer - North West University

The South African Union of Students has in the meantime called for a national shutdown and says the registration process - because of the high amounts of historic debts - has compromised the right to learn.

Spokesperson Thabo Shingange says practical commitments need to be made.

We need to bring more stakeholders into the conversation. National treasury, South African Reserve Bank, need to equally come into this conversation around historical debt. We cannot be leaving it to the doorstep of the universities. Ultimately it is a national conversation which requires a national solution which the department is not willing to engage on honestly at this particular point in time.

Thabo Shingange, Spokesperson - South African Union of Students

We do not need to come to a situation where the entire higher education system is now in a sate of pandemonium simply because were are failing to find each other on very practical things.

Thabo Shingange, Spokesperson - South African Union of Students

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