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‘TUT won’t reopen until it's safe’

The university was forced to shut its doors last week due to on-going protests by students.

The Tshwane University of Technology. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

JOHANNESBURG - It's not yet clear when the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) will reopen after it was forced to shut its doors last week due to on-going protests by students.

Operations at the Soshanguve and Pretoria campuses came to a halt due to protest action by students against a lack of funding from the National Students Financial Scheme (NSFAS).

The NSFAS is a government loan and bursary fund that caters for students around the country.

Yesterday, TUT obtained a court interdict to stop the protests.

But TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter says students will only return to campus once management feels it's safe.

"We will communicate with staff and students on our website as well as through smses."

At the same time, the TUT Student Representative Council and the Socialist Youth Movement (SYM) won an interdict yesterday against the unlawful eviction of students from the university's residences.

SYM spokesperson Elmond Magedi says the university harassed the students who had every right to protest.

The youth organisation has called on all students to return to their residences with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, TUT is not the only university that has been rocked by protests over a lack of funding by the NSFAS in recent days.

The Durban University of Technology and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) have also been affected.

Around 25 protesters at UJ were arrested for inciting public violence on Tuesday and around 20 students were suspended for allegedly disrupting registration.

The group allegedly disrupted registration by tampering with computers and intimidating staff.

The Department of Higher Education and Training has injected R1 billion into the NSFAS but the South African Students Congress's Sithembiso Ndlovu says the amount will hardly make any difference.