DUT VC Thandwa Mthembu defends university's security expenditure

During his state of the university address, Mthembu announced that R30 million had been set aside to introduce state-of-the-art security systems this year.

Durban University of Technology Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Thandwa Mthembu. Picture: Facebook/@DurbanUniversityofTechnology

DURBAN - Vice-Chancellor at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Thandwa Mthembu has defended the university’s multi-million rand private security expenditure.

During his state of the university address, Mthembu announced that R30 million had been set aside to introduce state-of-the-art security systems this year.

This followed several protests at the institution since the second half of last year as a result of disputes between university management and students.

Students leaders at the institution have argued that instead of spending millions on security, the university should address the root causes behind the instability there.

Mthembu announced major infrastructure development projects worth over R1 billion in a bid to turn the university into a world-class institution.

The SRC’s Phindugcobe Sigedle said Mthembu should prioritise solving DUT’s immediate challenges first, including attending to students in need of accommodation and funding.

"The priority should be about primary issues of students first because we are facing a lot of things that are of basic needs to the students and students are not being taken care of at the institution."

Mthembu said some students' demands were unreasonable and couldn’t be acceded to.

"Unfortunately, in a university where reason, debate, logic, facts and evidence should reign supreme, sometimes that doesn’t happen."

Meanwhile, the SRC and university management are expected to battle it out in the Durban High Court on Thursday morning over disputes relating to the appointment of SRC members.