PROTESTING DUT STUDENTS DISRUPT EXAMS
By: Sandile Zikhali
Protesting students from the Durban University Technology (DUT) lead by the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the institution disrupted an exam paper on Thursday morning.
The protest comes after students from DUT have been criticised by students from other universities for not joining the national protest against tuition fee increment planned by most tertiary institutions across the country.
Disrupted students said this was uncalled for and it is unfair to them.
Ndumiso Ngcobo, 2nd year Financial Management Accounting student, said that the timing was off.
“I don’t understand why our leadership has been so quite all this time but only decide to act now when most people are done with their exams and now we (are) suffering while others are chilling at home,” Ngcobo commented.
After videos and images showing students being arrested by the police, this protest was kept non-violent.
With a long debate with some of the students that felt that the protest was unfair, S’yondla Sithole, member of the Progressive Youth Alliance, said that postponing the protest is not an option as they have been trying to talk to the management with no success.
“If we keep quiet about this there is no way that we can champion it next year because if next year’s registration comes there won’t be any open discussion, we have to act now,” Sithole said.
Most semester students did not make it back to school after June due to insufficient funds to further their studies and some students believe a lot of money is wasted on unnecessary bashes and
entertainment events which can help the needy.
The student leadership of the institution said they will continue disrupting and boycotting exams until they come to an understanding with the institution.
The University’s Spokesperson, Alan Khan, said that a small group of students first gathered at the ML Sultan campus before marching to the Ritson Campus and the Steve Biko campus.
“We were made aware of the protest but students said they were not going to disturb exams, unfortunately that wasn’t the case,” Khan said.
He said staff at the two exam venues decided to abort the examinations that were in progress in light of threatening language and to ensure that no violence erupted.