Durban University of Technology (DUT) has closed all of its campuses until further notice following student protests regarding registration the university announced on Wednesday.

DUT senior director of corporate affairs, Alan Khan said the campuses had been closed after “a large number of people” invaded the Sports Centre on the Steve Biko campus in Durban on Tuesday. 

This was after they had reacted to fake social media posts, inviting walk-ins to register at DUT. 

“The University did not invite walk ins to register on campus,” Khan said. 

“Following the risk to health, safety and security, the university suspended the on-campus support for online registration yesterday, indefinitely. However, normal online registration will continue in the manner it has been all along but without on-campus support,” Khan said.

He said the influx of uninvited people on campus had continued to violate the COVID-19 protocols and that some of the people had not left the DUT campus on Tuesday.

“Overnight, a significant number of people continued to occupy the Sports Centre and refused the request to leave campus. Over the course of this morning, the situation escalated with protestors milling around outside the Steve Biko campus, hurling stones at buildings, damaging university property, barricading public roads, including several attempts to invade more buildings on campus,” he said.

“The university has called on all of the relevant law enforcement agencies to assist in calming this potentially dangerous situation. It has become clear that the situation is tough to contain and it is being exacerbated with increasing numbers of people trying to force their way onto many other parts of the Durban campuses. This also poses a bigger threat for COVID-19 infections,” Khan said.

“As a result, all five Durban campuses of the University (DUT) will be closed until further notice.  All online university functions and activities will continue. This means that online registration for first time entering (FTEN) students with firm offers will proceed as previously announced,” he said.

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Presh JM Reporter

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