DUT closes all five Durban campuses indefinitely following mass student gathering due to ‘fake’ social media posts

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An image circulating on social networks showing hundreds of walk in applicants at DUT's sport centre on Tuesday.
An image circulating on social networks showing hundreds of walk in applicants at DUT's sport centre on Tuesday.

A large number of people invaded the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Sports Centre on the Steve Biko campus in Durban on Tuesday after they had reacted to ‘fake’ social media posts inviting walk ins to register at DUT.

The university said it did not invite walk-ins to register on campus.   

On Wednesday Alan Khan, DUT’s senior director of corporate affairs, said following the risk to health, safety and security, the university suspended the on-campus support for online registration on Tuesday, indefinitely. However, normal online registration will continue in the manner it has been all along; but without on-campus support. Simply, the influx of uninvited people on campus continues to violate the Covid-19 protocols. 

Khan said overnight, a significant number of people continued to occupy the Sports Centre and refused the request to leave campus.

“Over the course of this morning [Wednesday], the situation escalated with protestors milling around outside the Steve Biko campus, hurling stones at buildings, damaging university property, barricading public roads, including several attempts to invade more buildings on campus.”

He said DUT has called on all of the relevant law enforcement agencies to assist in calming this potentially dangerous situation.

“It has become clear that the situation is tough to contain, and it is being exacerbated with increasing numbers of people trying to force their way onto many other parts of the Durban campuses. This also poses a bigger threat for Covid-19 infections.   

“As a result, all five Durban campuses of the university will be closed until further notice. 

“Please note that all online university functions and activities will continue. This means that online registration for first time entering (FTEN) students with firm offers will proceed as previously announced,” said Khan.

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