DUT said it had closed the institution until further notice after a student was shot dead, allegedly during a scuffle with a private security guard. Picture: Gcina Ndwalane/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban – The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in KwaZulu-Natal has called for restraint following the deadly shooting of a student on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old student, whose name is known to African News Agency (ANA), died after an alleged altercation with private security just outside the Steve Biko campus of the Durban University of Technology (DUT). 

He was a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC).

Police told ANA earlier that the student had been shot in the abdomen. It remains unclear, however, who shot him.

Hundreds of students took to the streets on Tuesday night, marching through Durban’s central business district singing struggle songs in solidarity with the deceased student.

“We want everyone to exercise restraint and caution,” said chairperson of the ANCYL in KwaZulu-Natal, Kwazi Mshengu. He was speaking at the Steve Biko campus on Tuesday night.

“We want to believe that we all agree that the issues that have been raised by the students are genuine issues and they should not lead to any confrontation that could lead to the loss of life,” said Mshengu.

He wished those who were hospitalised following the incident a speedy recovery. 

“As the ANCYL we will be visiting them [on Wednesday], as well as the family of the deceased,” he said.

“Our message to the students is, let us keep calm and focused, exercise restraint, even under circumstances of provocation. We also want to call upon the authorities of the institution as well as higher education to ensure that they will resolve these impasses.”

According to police, about 30 students armed with stones, rocks and bricks, stormed a DUT administration block on Ritson Road when the shooting occurred. A security guard and one female administration assistant were injured during the incident and both were hospitalised. 

Four students were arrested for public violence, said police.

In a statement posted on Twitter earlier in the evening, the EFFSC called on all universities and colleges to shut down on Wednesday in support of free registration and free education and in solidarity with DUT students.

They also extended condolences to the family of the deceased.

The shooting follows unrest at several tertiary education institutions in the Durban area on Monday, although DUT was relatively quiet compared to others.  

The unrest took place during a “total shutdown” protest at several campuses, with vehicles being torched at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville and Howard College campuses. A guard hut was also set alight at the Westville campus.

Students were protesting funding delays with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), a lack of student accommodation and delayed registration processes.

African News Agency/ANA