- Five students were stabbed near the DUT campus on Tuesday.
- The students, wearing Sasco and EFFSC regalia, were taken for treatment.
- Police have been monitoring the situation and advised victims to open cases.
Five students were stabbed after clashes broke out between the EFF student command (EFFSC) and the SA Student Congress (Sasco) outside the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Tuesday.
"This morning, there was a clash among two parties outside the campus at DUT. Five students were stabbed and sustained injuries during the altercation. They were taken to a campus clinic for medical attention," said provincial police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.
Gwala said police were on scene and monitoring the situation.
"No case was opened, the victims were advised to open cases."
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DUT spokesperson Alan Khan confirmed the incident, saying they were aware of the violence.
"Earlier this morning, a group of protesters allegedly from the EFFSC and Sasco clashed outside the Steve Biko campus in Durban. The altercation was violent and some protesters were injured as they attacked one another."
He said police were fortunately on the scene to help defuse the situation.
"Although the incident took place outside DUT premises, a few of the injured protesters were treated at the DUT clinic on the Steve Biko campus."
Khan said they were "concerned that the protesters became violent and attacked one another".
"Since the incident took place within close proximity of the university property, DUT is also very concerned that the protesters are violating the government's Covid-19 regulations.
"In photos and videos that were circulated online, groups of protesters could be seen without masks and ignoring physical distancing. We urge the protesters to exercise their rights in a peaceful manner and to respect the Covid-19 protocols, so that we avoid the potential of a super-spreader event."
What are the political parties saying?
EFFSC spokesperson at DUT, Sandiso Buthelezi, claimed there were registration delays, leading to many students gathering outside the university.
"It created a situation where opportunists are around, claiming to be DUT sending SMSs and also receiving bribes. There is a lot of scamming at DUT. The scuffle was around those issues. There was a person that alleged to have tried to do this thing of scamming, in a yellow T-shirt, hence there was a scuffle."
Buthelezi said they were still open to talks and reconciliation with Sasco members.
Sasco spokesperson at DUT, Malwande Ndobe, claimed the altercation started on Friday. He said there was a programme, the Right to Learn campaign, where they assist students with registration and other concerns.
"Our people were there on Friday, but they were threatened by the EFF members, saying we must not work (or help other students). We told them we will continue to assist students because that is our end goal. They said, 'you will see if you continue'."
He said they were then attacked on Tuesday, with one person allegedly breaking an arm.