THE Durban University of Technology yesterday obtained a court order to evict students from the residences.
This comes after lectures were disrupted by striking students, which led to the university suspending lectures on various occasions. More than 3000 students who live in the university’s six residences have until midday today to vacate their rooms.
Along with the court order, the institution also obtained an interdict against the university’s students representative council (SRC), including its president Mfanafuthi Ngcobo.
The interdict precludes Ngcobo and the SRC from organising any mass gathering, mobilising students or disrupting examinations.
The students’ strike has interrupted learning for the past two weeks and management said the interdict would help to restore a peaceful environment to the institution.
On Monday, lectures were suspended with immediate effect after threats to staff by striking students.
The students want the university to write off their outstanding first semester fees, change security companies, offer financial assistance to BTech students and provide sanitary towels and branded condoms for free.
Vice-chancellor and principal Professor Ahmed Bawa said strikes were becoming part of DUT’s history. He said they were organised by a “small group of students”.
“The academic programme remains suspended at Durban campuses until we have adequate security to ensure a safe environment for staff and students. Management would like to restore a safe and peaceful environment so we can resume teaching and learning. We will let students know when campus will reopen,” he said.
Fashion design student Maxwell Phiri, from Free State, expressed anger at management for closing the university and said they could have beefed up security to protect non- striking students and staff.
“I have just returned from the holidays. This current strike makes me feel like I have chosen the wrong place to study,” Phiri said.