Heavy police presence at DUT on Wednesday amid fears of violent protest after a student was shot and killed allegedly by a security guard. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The KwaZulu-Natal government said on Wednesday that it supports the planned intervention by a Special Task Team in the ongoing disturbances at several tertiary institutions in the province that resulted in the death of a student in Durban.

The learner was shot dead during protest action at the Durban University of Technology on Tuesday.

"During the normal sitting of the Provincial Executive Council, KwaZulu-Natal Acting Premier Sihle Zikalala led a discussion on the students’ protests in institutions of higher learning in KwaZulu-Natal," the Director-General of the Province Nonhlanhla Mkhize said in a statement.

"Zikalala expressed his heartfelt condolences on behalf of KZN government to the family of the student who passed away yesterday during protests from the Durban University of Technology (DUT)," said Mkhize.

During the sitting of the Provincial Executive Council, Zikalala said: “The passing on of a young person, with a promising future, is always a very difficult time for the family. The KZN government joins the family in mourning, with a deep sense of sadness, the passing of a promising future leader."

Zikalala added: “Judging by accounts given by fellow students and ordinary members of society in the social media and in various platforms - it is clear that the whole province has been shaken by this tragedy.

"We call upon the people of KwaZulu-Natal to pray and support the family, students and management of institutions of higher learning during this period.”

“As announced yesterday, before this unfortunate incidence, a Task Team which includes MECs, will meet with students’ leadership, vice chancellors and rectors in order to find a long-lasting solution.

"The executive council agreed today that this meeting should go ahead this Friday, 8 February, in Durban. Because this is a period mourning for the family, as KZN government we are appealing to students and the academic community to approach planned negotiations with dignity.”

African News Agency (ANA)