A South African student was killed during a protest over university accommodation in Durban on Tuesday, officials said. Local media alledge the victim was shot in a confrontation with a security guard.
The death risked inflaming further student demonstrations in South Africa, which was hit by violent nationwide protests in 2015 and 2016 when students clashed with riot police firing teargas.
“The Durban University of Technology (DUT) has received sad news that one of the students who was involved in protest action earlier this afternoon outside DUT’s Steve Biko Campus has sadly passed away,” the university said in a statement.
“The student passed on while receiving medical attention at the City Hospital in Durban.”
Local reports quoted a police officer saying that students had been throwing stones at buildings and entrance gates when the victim was allegedly shot.
South African students staged huge protests in 2015 which forced the government to abandon planned fee hikes that they said forced poor students out of education.
Buildings in several institutions were torched and dozens of students were arrested during daily running battles on campuses in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and elsewhere in 2015 and 2016.
Protests began this week in Durban and Johannesburg over student accommodation and a slow registration process for the academic year.