18 February 2019

South Africa: DUT Suspends Academic Programme At Durban Campuses

The academic programme at all five Durban University of Technology (DUT) campuses has been suspended, the university said in a statement on Monday.

The institution said the decision of the executive committee of its senate to suspend the academic programme at the campuses was due to ongoing student protests in Durban that carried on on Monday morning as engagements with university management and the student representative council (SRC) were taking place.

"Although the suspension of the academic programme in Durban is disappointing, the university cannot jeopardise the safety and security of all staff and students. The unacceptable levels of intimidation are not conducive to a learning environment," it said.

The university said academic activity at campuses in the Midlands would, however, continue as planned.

It added that threats made by certain members of the SRC had to be taken seriously, especially following the levels of violence over the past weeks.

"While we increased the security presence in Durban today, student protesters still disrupted classes, intimidated staff and students and the protesters violated the rights of others by publicly issuing threats against members of the DUT community," it said.

The institution said following engagements, DUT Midlands campus SRC members said they were satisfied with progress made in addressing their concerns and wanted lectures to continue in the Indumiso and Riverside campuses in Pietermaritzburg.

"However, it would seem that some student leaders in Durban are not interested in agreements that take us closer to solutions. It is this group that is spreading fake news, issuing threats and promoting disruption and disorder in Durban.

"So, considering the overall safety of our staff and students, SENEX (senate executive committee) has decided to suspend the academic programme in Durban until further notice. The academic activity in the Midlands will continue as planned," DUT said.


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