Lectures were cancelled at the Durban University of Technology on Monday after another wave of protests at the institution.
According to a statement by vice-chancellor professor Thandwa Mthembu, the decision was taken to “ensure safety and security of staff and students”.
The decision to suspend the academic programme at the five Durban campuses was taken by the senate’s executive committee on Monday. The two Pietermaritzburg campuses were not affected and will continue as normal.
“The decision was reached following renewed student protests in Durban, while engagements between university management and the SRC was taking place [Monday] morning. Although the suspension of the academic programme in Durban is disappointing, the university cannot jeopardise the safety and security of all staff and students. The unacceptable levels of intimidation [are] not conducive to a learning environment,” said Mthembu.
The university said that protesters “disrupted classes, intimidated staff and students, and the protesters violated the rights of others by publicly issuing threats against members of the DUT community”.
Mthembu laid the blame squarely on student leaders.
“It would seem that some student leaders in Durban are not interested in agreements that take us closer to solutions. It is this group that is spreading fake news, issuing threats and promoting disruption and disorder in Durban.
“So, considering the overall safety of our staff and students, [the senate executive committee] has decided to suspend the academic programme in Durban until further notice. The academic activity in the Midlands will continue as planned,” said Mthembu.