Police ready themselves to guide protesting DUT students through Durban city centre on Monday. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)

DURBAN – Durban University of Technology (DUT) students marched to city hall on Monday led by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) student leaders in what has thus far been an incident-free event.

About 600 students marched from the Steve Biko campus, under a strong police presence, through the city centre.

Police described the march as “peaceful”.

Some of the students wore T-shirts emblazoned with the face of Mlungisi Madonsela.

Twenty-year-old Madonsela was shot just outside the Steve Biko campus two weeks ago during an altercation with private security guards contracted to the institution. He died later in hospital. 

A DUT staff member was also seriously injured during the violence and had to be hospitalised; she was struck in the face by a brick hurled by a protesting student. 

Before they started their march on Monday, students gathered outside the vice-chancellor’s office inside the campus but were dispersed by security and police. 

The first batch of protesting DUT students start their march to city hall. Video: African News Agency (ANA)

At one stage, a leader could be heard calling for Indians to leave the province because “they” thought the EFF was a party of “illiterates”.

An official received and signed the student’s memorandum at city hall on behalf of the mayor.

The memorandum, addressed to the National Prosecuting Authority and government officials, read: “The students, after assessing progress on many issues, in particular the issue of a student who was killed...have noted delays in arresting those who killed the student.

“The students demand the following: The [security guards] who killed Mlungisi Madonsela to be arrested immediately [and] the security company and university must be prosecuted.”

While the students were marching, student representative council (SRC) members were locked in a meeting with DUT management.

Academic activities resumed at the campus on Monday after being shut down on the day Madonsela was killed.

In a press statement issued over the weekend, EFF Student Command (EFFSC) leader Sesiyanda Godlimpi, who also leads the SRC, said classes would not resume until the issues faced by students were addressed. These included sub-standard accommodation at residences and poor administration of government-funded student loans.

“We will deal decisively with those who will be found in classes [on Monday]. We just want to make them aware that it won’t be business as usual at DUT. In conclusion, classes  will not resume on Monday until all our demands are met,” said Godlimpi in the statement.

DUT communications’ staff said they would issue a statement following their meeting with SRC members.

 African News Agency (ANA)