DUT wants court to ban students from protesting near campuses

20 February 2019 - 18:15 By LWANDLE BHENGU
Members of the EFF Students Command asked DUT students who didn't want to protest to leave campus or risk being "dealt with decisively" ahead of a march to Durban City Hall on Monday.
Members of the EFF Students Command asked DUT students who didn't want to protest to leave campus or risk being "dealt with decisively" ahead of a march to Durban City Hall on Monday.
Image: JACKIE CLAUSEN

The Durban University of Technology (DUT) is expected to bring an urgent application in the high court on Thursday to bar students from protesting within 150m of its campuses.

In an email sent out to students on Wednesday afternoon, the university attached a copy of the court document highlighting the relief it was seeking against 22 respondents, including student representative council (SRC) president Sesiyanda Godlimpi. 

“The respondents are indicted and restrained from being physically situated within 150m of any of the applicant’s premises when marching, gathering, protesting, demonstrating or otherwise grouping together, including in the case of organisations or political parties,” said the university.

In addition, the university wants to prevent the respondents from intimidating, harassing or threatening students or staff or physically damaging any of their equipment and assets.

In the court application, the university highlighted a series of incidents - which commenced from February 4 and progressively grew more violent and threatening - as the reason for the urgent interdict. These included stoning incidents, verbal threats to students and staff, and damage to property.

The 22nd respondent is the SAPS, whom the university is asking to implement the interdict.

This week marked the third week without any academic programmes at the university. Lectures were suspended two weeks ago following the fatal shooting of Mlungisi Madonsela, who was killed during clashes between students and campus security outside the university's Steve Biko campus.

Lectures were scheduled to resume on February 18, but these were disrupted by members of the EFF Students Command, who warned students to leave the campus or risk being “dealt with decisively”. 

The university is requesting that the student bodies pay the costs of the legal application.

TimesLIVE contacted Godlimpi, who said he was not aware of the interdict.

The matter is expected to be heard in the Durban high court on Thursday.


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