Court grants more time for DUT students to oppose interdict

2016-04-13 09:41

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - An estimated 28 000 students at Durban University of Technology (DUT) campuses around KZN have an opportunity to apply for legal aid if they want to oppose a high court interdict granted against students in February.

The interdict was obtained by DUT in the wake of a wave of violent student protests that swept through the various campuses in the provinces at the beginning of this year.

On April 1 Acting Judge Piet Bezuidenhout granted a request by a group of students that they be allowed to seek legal advice regarding the possibility of opposing the interdict.

When the case returned to the high court on Monday a group of students told Judge Yvonne Mbatha that due to a misunderstanding their attorney ended up going to the district court instead of the high court. The judge agreed to again adjourn the case until yesterday when legal aid lawyer Ashok Kaloo appeared on the students’ behalf.

He told the court he had received brief instructions from eight students who want to oppose the interdict. However, he pointed out that the Legal Aid Board has to consider each application on merit.

He added that the the court order covers “all” students at DUT campuses in KZN, about 28 000 in total. As he did not know how many students wanted to oppose the case he needed more time.

Despite opposition by the advocate representing DUT, Judge Mbatha agreed to postpone the matter until May 17 to enable any students wishing to oppose the interdict to approach the Legal Aid Board, consult with Kaloo and file answering affidavits where applicable. The costs of the case were reserved until a later date.

In the meantime Judge Mbatha has extended the urgent interim interdict obtained by DUT on February 19.

The interdict prevents students at DUT campuses in KZN from “disrupting” or calling for the academic programme at DUT campuses to be disrupted, or instigating others to do so.

It also bars them from disrupting lectures, practical work, tests or exams at DUT as well as entering any venue or lecture hall unless they are students of the course in question.

In addition the students are prevented from assaulting, threatening or intimidating “by way of violent protests” staff and students of DUT or instigating anyone else to do so.

They are also barred from damaging property and demonstrating or gathering closer than 100 metres from the perimeter of any DUT campus.

Vice-chancellor and principal Professor Ahmed Bawa said in his affidavit in support of the interdict at the time that the aim of the court order was not to stop elected SRC members from fulfilling their function to raise student issues or grievances in a lawful manner. It was intended to halt escalating violent protests at the DUT campuses at the time, protect staff and students and prevent damage to property.

In various e-mails attached to the court papers DUT staff at the time expressed fears for their safety as student violence spread across campuses.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  students  |  court  |  dut

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.