Protests force closure of TUT campuses

Johannesburg - All Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) campuses will be shut until further notice because of violent protests, university management said on Monday.

The Soshanguve, Pretoria, and Ga-Rankuwa campuses were closed last week out of fear for the safety of staff and students, and to prevent further damage to university property. TUT also obtained a court order against students.

"The Emalahleni, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Arcadia and Arts campuses will also be indefinitely shut down now," said spokesperson Willa de Ruyter.

She said TUT's executive management committee had met on Monday and heard reports of disruptions at campuses that were previously unaffected.

"In view of this, residence students have also been informed that the residences will be closed until classes resume."

Students were protesting against allocations by the National Student Financial Aid scheme, and the condition of their residences.

TUT management said it was working to resolve their complaints.

"Some of the difficulties faced by our students are of a systemic nature and cannot be resolved overnight," De Ruyter said.

"However, it should be noted that having legitimate concerns does not warrant unruly and violent behaviour, and infringing on other people's rights."

TUT Rector Nthabiseng Ogude said the top priority was getting students back into class as soon as possible.

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