DUT closes campus over student safety protest

Students at the Durban University of Technology protesting outside the campus on Monday. They are demanding footage of an incident in which a student, Sandile Ndlovu, was stabbed.
Students at the Durban University of Technology protesting outside the campus on Monday. They are demanding footage of an incident in which a student, Sandile Ndlovu, was stabbed.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The Durban University of Technology suspended lectures on Monday as students protested at the Steve Biko campus after a stabbing in a lecture room.

In a communique sent out to students and staff on Sunday, the university said there needed to be a more conducive learning environment following the death of a student, alleged to be a suicide, at a university residence on Wednesday and the stabbing of first-year industrial engineering student Sandile Ndlovu last Monday.

On Monday, dozens of students protested outside the gates of the Steve Biko campus, demanding footage from around the vicinity of the lecture hall where Ndlovu was attacked.

DUT students protest outside the Steve Biiko campus on Monday after a student, Sandile Ndlovu was stabbed in a lecture hall.
DUT students protest outside the Steve Biiko campus on Monday after a student, Sandile Ndlovu was stabbed in a lecture hall.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

“Having engaged with views from a number of stakeholders of the University, the executive committee of senate and the executive management committee of the Durban University of Technology have decided to suspend lectures and any scheduled tests and assessments, on all campuses on Monday 16 September 2019 and Tuesday 17 September 2019, “ said the university.

Classes were also suspended on Friday after students protested and marched to City Hospital, where Ndlovu is in intensive care, to hold a prayer meeting.

Ndlovu is fighting for his life after he was brutally assaulted in a lecture room at the university’s Steve Biko campus.

Ndlovu's uncle, Tshepo Mokoena, told our sister publication TimesLIVE on Friday that although Ndlovu was still in a critical condition, they were hopeful.

The university's management team said they would continue engagements with the student representative council (SRC) “to seek a collective solution to the concerns they have raised”.

On Friday the SRC again handed a memorandum to the university calling for the removal of current security company Xcellent Security.

In response, the university said a tender process to replace the company was already in place and would be concluded by the end of October. Classes are expected to resume on Wednesday.

Police have confirmed they are investigating Ndlovu's stabbing.


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