WATCH | Three DUT campuses closed after 'violent protest'

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A library at the Durban University of Technology after being trashed during the student protest.
A library at the Durban University of Technology after being trashed during the student protest.

Staff at the Durban University of Technology were coughing heavily as they ran out of a building engulfed by smoke during a student protest. 

On Monday, students at the Steve Biko Campus allegedly started a fire in one of the university's buildings and trashed the library. 

A plume of smoke could be seen coming from the S Block on Steve Biko campus. 

As a result, three of the university's affected campuses have been closed until Wednesday, Steve Biko, ML Sultan and Ritson Campus.

The Witness understands the protest is related to a number of issues mainly Wi-Fi at student residences and National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

In videos seen by The Witness, one of the university's library is trashed with  books off the shelves and on the floor. 

DUT management issued a communique to students on Monday condemning the "extremely violent" protest.

"A group of protestors from a student political organisation turned extremely violent and damaged DUT property, thereby threatening and compromising the safety and security of our university community," it read. 

Besides the aforementioned campuses, DUT said its remaining four campuses will remain open. 

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation before implementing any further steps to protect the lives and wellbeing of our staff and students and to secure university property," reads the communique.

"Campus Protection, in conjunction with the South African Police Services, have already started apprehending suspects and they will continue to gather evidence and take appropriate action against those who broke the law and/or violated university rules/policies."

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