After weeks of tension, classes at DUT set to resume

2019-02-25 05:12
PHOTO: nqobile mtolo Durban University of Technology student Smangele Buthelezi has been denied student accommodation registration because of outstanding fees from last year despite receiving a bursary from the Department Education.

PHOTO: nqobile mtolo Durban University of Technology student Smangele Buthelezi has been denied student accommodation registration because of outstanding fees from last year despite receiving a bursary from the Department Education.

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The academic programme at all five Durban University of Technology (DUT) campuses is expected to resume on Monday, after management and the student representative council (SRC) reached common ground following protests.

Programmes at DUT were suspended earlier this month after student Mlungisi Madonsela was shot dead during an altercation with security guards at one of the campuses.

News24 previously reported that a group of about 30 students stoned an administration building on the day of the shooting, before proceeding to protest at different university gates.

READ: DUT shooting – Security guards suspended after student dies

Security at the gates called for back-up and it is understood that the student was shot during a confrontation at one of the gates. Where exactly the student was shot was also expected to form part of the investigation, police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele told News24.

Students were protesting inadequate accommodation and lack of access to funding.

According to a joint statement by university management and the SRC, classes at all DUT campuses will resume next week, provided that students who are currently appealing the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), and who are staying in the Baltimore residence, are moved until the outcome of their appeal.

It is understood that these appeals are as a result of students contesting their initial applications for funding by NSFAS.

According to the statement, there are 232 students awaiting a decision on NSFAS funding.

ALSO READ: Student protests flare up in Durban, march to City Hall planned

This is against the backdrop that the University will be closing down the Baltimore and Hertine Court residences due to unsatisfactory conditions at both buildings.

"Management agreed to this condition, subject to Student Housing Department confirming that the spaces still exist," the joint statement read.

Additionally, students whose appeals are unsuccessful will be given 48 hours to vacate the residences.

"Further, the meeting agreed that students who are waiting for their appeal decisions should be allowed to attend classes until their cases are finalised or on 15 March 2019 - whichever comes first."

University management and the SRC have also agreed to work closely together to resolve all issues that can be attended to in the long term.

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Read more on:    dut  |  durban  |  education
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