Durban high court grants University right to ban protesting students

Over the years, it has become a ritual for students to embark on demonstration at the slightest provocation.

Following the regular resort to violence, the Durban high court has granted the Durban University of Technology (DUT) a temporary interdict barring students from protesting near any of their campuses.

The university filed the urgent interdict on Wednesday against 22 respondents including the university’s entire SRC, the EFF Student Command as well as all registered students.

The court challenge comes after three weeks of disruptions at the five Durban campuses. 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.

The students were protesting against the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and student housing issues.

Lectures were scheduled to resume on February 18 but were disrupted by members of the EFF Student Command (EFFSC) who asked students to leave the campus or they would be “dealt with decisively”.

The EFF students then held a march to the Durban city hall on Monday to hand over a memorandum demanding justice for Madonsela.

The order, which both the university and the respondents consented to, stated that students would not be allowed to protest or march within 150m of the university or incite violence.

“Nothing in this order should be constructed as prohibiting or preventing the first 20 respondents, who are registered students of the applicant from peacefully attending and participating in lectures and associated activities,” read the court order.

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