Durban - The academic programme at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) has been suspended until further notice, the institution's vice chancellor, professor Thandwa Mthembu, said in an emailed statement late on Monday night.
"The Executive Committee of Senate at DUT has decided to suspend the academic programme at all five DUT campuses in Durban until further notice. The academic programme at the two campuses in Pietermaritzburg will continue as normal," said Mthembu.
He said the decision was reached following renewed student protests on Monday while management and the Student Representative Council (SRC) were meeting over demands made by the SRC. The suspension of the academic programme was "disappointing", he said, but the institution was not willing to jeopardise the safety and security of staff and students.
"The threats made by certain members of the SRC has to be taken seriously, especially following the levels of violence that we have witnessed two weeks ago and the challenges faced by some of our sister universities today," said Mthembu, presumably a reference to on-campus incidents at the Mangosuthu University of Technology in uMlazi, during which several protesting students were arrested for public violence.
Classes were set to resume at DUT on Monday morning following a suspension of the academic programme two weeks ago. That suspension followed the death of student Mlungisi Madonsela, who was shot by private security contracted to the university and later died in hospital.