The vice-chancellor and principal of Durban University of Technology (DUT), Professor Thandwa Mthembu, has strongly condemned violent clashes between students groups on Tuesday morning at the Berea campus.
This comes after a video of the altercation went viral on social media showing EFF Students Command members and South African Students Congress (Sasco) members clashing. It was unclear what led to the confrontation, but police confirmed five students were stabbed and injured.
I did not take this video, it was sent to me by a DUT student, he says the incident happened this morning. We see EFFSC and SASCO members physically attacking each other. #DUT pic.twitter.com/Bn1tFCjfAn
— Mabaso Nhlanhla (@_NMabaso) March 23, 2021
“I have communicated repeatedly that a university is a place of calm and peace, facts and evidence, reason and logic, and deliberation. It is very unbecoming of university students to recoil into the most primitive ways of settling disagreements: fisticuffs, sjamboking, hurling of bricks and stones, and so forth,” Mthembu said in a statement.
“Management has no option but to take very drastic disciplinary measures against all those who will be identifiable and/or reported to have been involved in this brawl. Simply, their behaviour does not belong in a university.”
Mthembu said it was concerning that the students who were part of the brawl were not wearing masks and keeping their social distance. He said this posed a great risk to DUT becoming a super-spreader of Covid-19.
“On behalf of management, I can condemn all of these violations of our institutional cultures and Covid-19 protocols and regulations. I, therefore, urge all our students to desist from this despicable and errant behaviour,” he said.
According to KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala, the injured students were taken to a campus clinic for medical attention.
“Police are at the scene to monitor and stabilise the situation. The situation is quiet at the moment. No case was opened. The victims were advised to open cases,” Gwala told Independent Online.