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Student protests close DUT, Walter Sisulu campus

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Student protests close DUT, Walter Sisulu campus

Photo by Reuters

9th February 2017

By: News24Wire

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Both the Walter Sisulu University Mthatha campus and Durban University of Technology have been closed.

In a statement on Wednesday, Walter Sisulu University said the Mthatha campus will be closed until further notice after reports were received that buildings were set alight.

“People are preventing fire engines from entering the premises to attend to the fire,” it said.

The University said the situation was extremely volatile and there was a real threat to the university and staff safety.

All students and prospective students have been asked to vacate university property, including university residences.

At the Durban University of Technology all lectures for Thursday and Friday were also suspended following discussions with its Student Representative Council (SRC). The university said it had taken the decision due to the "serious challenges" students faced with accommodation.

Lectures, laboratory and practical sessions, tutorials and assessments will resume on Monday, Director of Corporate Affairs Alan Khan said.

It said the university, however, would remain open for business. The extended registration would continue this week.

Classes at the university on Monday started with a peaceful march by students to the vice chancellor's office.

During the march, the SRC requested that classes be cancelled for all students until the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) responded to the concerns of students.

In September, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said student protests since 2015 had resulted in damage of up to R600 million on campuses.

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