'UNIvErsity closed'

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The Durban University of Technology (DUT) has been closed until Friday.

The university's security staff were ordered to get the students out of the residences late yesterday, leaving those who come from far away completely stranded.

This is because of the ongoing students' protest for the past two weeks. They have been told to go home "until things cool down".

Students Representative Council (SRC) spokesman, Mthunzi Gumede, said last night that they were worried because students were now put in a dangerous situation and made vulnerable to things such as rape.

"They have nowhere to go," Gumede said.

University spokesman Nomonde Mbadi said: "Staff are expected to return to work on Wednesday while students are only expected to return next Monday."

SRC president Musa Zondi said they were more determined to continue their protest after seven students were shot and wounded, allegedly by security guards using tear gas and rubber bullets.

The security guards were last Friday and again yesterday allegedly trying to disperse the students who had contravened the 100metre cordon imposed by the university.

Last week the institution obtained a court interdict and secured the services of a security services company to restrain the students from disrupting registrations and causing damage to university property.

Yesterday morning students ignored an order prohibiting them from coming within 100metres of the university and protested around the Steve Biko campus. They demanded to see the management. The students have vowed that no lectures or registration would take place at the university if any students are refused registration because they owe the institution money.

"We are prepared to repeat what happened in 1976 if students from poor families are kicked out like this," said the students.

The students are demanding that the university rolls over all outstanding student fees.

The university has apparently been agreeing to student demands for a roll over since 2002.

The current total student debt at DUT is allegedly R175million.

For last year's academic year alone, student debt is reportedly R72million.