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Naledi Pandor 'deeply concerned' about killing of student at DUT

DUT has also expressed sadness over the death of one of its students and has asked that the institution and the victim’s family be given the space to grieve.

FILE: Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG/DURBAN - Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor has reacted to the killing of a student at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) allegedly by a private security guard.

The guard apparently opened fire during a scuffle with students on Tuesday.

The students are angry at the exclusion of those with historic debt from registration as well as a lack of accommodation.

Pandor’s spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele says the minister is deeply concerned about the matter: “The director-general of higher education and training, Mr Gwebinkundla Qonde, is interacting with the institution and the family, so when the time is right the minister [Pandor] will be able to visit as well.”

At the same time, DUT has closed its doors until further notice.

DUT has also expressed sadness over the death of one of its students and has asked that the institution and the victim’s family be given the space to grieve.

The institution will be closed until further notice as authorities continue their investigations into what took place on the property.

KwaZulu-Natal police have opened a case of murder and another of public violence against those believed to have been trying to damage the buildings and injure police.

Three students were also arrested yesterday during the chaos.

STUDENT PROTESTS

This week has also seen similar demonstrations at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Mangosuthu University of Technology.

In Gauteng, Wits University says it hopes to resolve registration problems by the end of this week.

A group of students are on a hunger strike, demanding accommodation, and that students with debt exceeding R10,000 be allowed to register.

Wits University, however, says only those who meet the criteria of the hardship fund can be assisted.

Deputy vice-chancellor Andrew Crouch says, “Once the hardship fund is exhausted and there are more students that need assistance, the university is committed to looking for more funding for those students, to enable them to either be registered or to be accommodated. And that’s the commitment we’re given to them [protesting students].”

Meanwhile, the University of Cape Town is investigating after its vice-chancellor, Mamokgethi Phakeng, was threatened.

Professor Phakeng on Tuesday tweeted about her experience on campus.

It’s unclear if this incident is linked to the student protests.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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