PMB DUT campuses closed

2010-03-17 00:00

THE protest by students over food at the Indumiso campus of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) yesterday has forced management to close down both midlands campuses — Indumiso and the Riverside campus in Woodhouse Road — until tomorrow.

The students were protesting against the high cost of food, adding that the food wasn’t “up to standard”.

The demonstration quickly got out of hand and 10 of the 800 protesting students were arrested and charged with public violence and malicious damage to property.

The students are said to have damaged the roof and the windscreen of a car parked within DUT’s premises.

They allegedly pelted police with stones and bottles and also removed fire extinguishers from the campus.

Police resorted to using rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the unruly students and restore a measure of calm.

In a media statement, Professor Nqabomzi Gawe said the university has only one contracted food provider at both the Indumiso and Riverside campuses. However, she said they were still operating on last year’s prices.

“According to the agreement, the service provider is allowed to sell take-away retail items at market-related prices. The contract further allows for kitchen prepared meals to be subjected to negotiated prices based on inflation,” said Gawe.

She said management is currently reviewing the concerns raised by the students and hopes to have the matter resolved by tomorrow when lectures resume and when the students will also be given feedback on the concerns raised.

SEVEN of the students from the Durban University of Technology’s Indumiso campus in Imbali, who were arrested and charged with public violence on Monday, were granted bail in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Ayanda Mavundla, Mlungisi Bhengu, Mmeli Mthembu, Themba Mchunu, Khumbulani Mkhize, Siza Shelembe and Thulani Mbanani were released on bail of R300 each and ordered to appear in court again on April 9.

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