WATCH | Unrest at DUT as four students arrested

Four students were arrested after unrest at DUT on Thursday.
Four students were arrested after unrest at DUT on Thursday.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Four students have been arrested at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) after unrest broke out at Steve Biko Campus on Thursday.

Campus security guards ordered students to leave after members of the EFF student command tried to hand over a memorandum to the vice-chancellor's office.

“This morning at 10am a group of students blocked the entrance at Steve Biko campus and damaged the windows at the student apartment,” said police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele.

A memorandum, purportedly drawn up by the SRC, lists several financial and accommodation issues mainly around the issuing of NSFAS allowances for food and books and the phasing out of the Bachelor of Technology programme which some students had already started.

The memorandum called for the suspension of the academic programme until the issues had been resolved.

“The SRC, after assessing progress on many issues, in particular the issue of registration, accommodation and allowances ... has noted delays which fundamentally undermine the ability of students to carry out their academic commitment under normal circumstances,” read the memo.

In a statement, the university hit back stating that it had met with the SRC on Wednesday and they did not express any desire to shut the campus down.

It also warned against people “masquerading as the university’s student leadership”.

“It must be noted that the student registration process is still under way and that management will not engage with people who are claiming to be registered DUT students,” it said.

“DUT Management will not engage with groups claiming to represent the student body when there is a democratically elected SRC at DUT, with members who are legitimately registered with the institution,” the university added.

However, the acting SRC president Andisiwe Dyantyi told TimesLIVE they did not formally meet with management on Wednesday.

Dyantyi said they had an informal and brief meeting with the dean of students where they mentioned wanting to hand over a memorandum to management.

“All we wanted was to submit our demands to the vice-chancellor, only to find out they won't let us do that.

“We mentioned the mass meeting informally (to the dean), saying we don't want to strike, it is just to call all the affected students and read the memorandum to them because from time to time students don't trust us, so we saw it best that we call them and read the memo so they can be satisfied,” said Dyantyi.

Mbele said the situation on campus was calm and that the arrested students were expected to appear in court on Friday.

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