A round up of news for and about students.

DUT students arrested after trying to set guard alight as protests continue

As protests continue at The Durban University of Technology (DUT), nine students were arrested for trying to set a security guard alight as well as burning a maintenance room and two security guard houses in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said that the students attacked the guard, poured petrol on him and attempted to set him alight. He was rescued by colleagues who witnessed the attack. The students, aged between 20 and 30 will be charged with attempted murder, malicious damage to property and public violence.

DUT was set to have classes resume yesterday (September 18) after a shut down in response to protests that erupted after a student was stabbed in a lecture hall. Industrial engineering student Sandile Ndlovu is in critical condition after he was stabbed and had his skull cracked open in a lecture hall on the Steve Biko Campus on Monday September 9. His cellphone and laptop were taken during the attack, but little else has been made known about the incident. Students have been protesting for #JusticeForSandile and are questioning the university’s reluctance to release CCTV footage and details on what had happened. DUT’s management met with the DUT SRC on Monday (September 16) to address safety issues. Student leader Nokuthula Ntantiso said students wanted the university to get rid of a private security company and in-source security guards instead. “We are not safe as students here at DUT. Firstly, it started with the incident involving the killing of Mlungisi Madonsela earlier this year, and now there is a student who was attacked and we don’t know who did that,” she said. – Read more on the EWN site

Thirty UniZulu students arrested after police station set alight

Thirty students from the University of Zululand (Unizulu) were arrested during protests on Monday (September 16). The shooting of a male student inside his off-campus residence prompted students to close off all accesses to KwaDlangezwa so that they could address their grievances to the MEC for community safety and the minister of police. Students believe the victim, who is in critical condition in hospital, was attacked by a known gang called “Amadabuka”, who have been terrorising students living off campus. During the standoff, police are alleged to have shot at students with teargas and rubber bullets. Students retaliated with violence which ended in the police station being set alight. Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said a group of students stormed the Vulindlela police station based in KwaDlangezwa and that cases of arson and public violence were being investigated. The arrested students are due to appear in the Esikhaleni Magistrates Court today. The university shut down the Kwa-Dlangezwa campus due to ongoing violent protests because of the arrests, and urged students to vacate the campus as well as on-campus residences by 1 pm yesterday (September 17). – Read more on the DUT Journalism site

NSFAS goes on the road to make applying easier

In a bid to reach learners and youth who have difficulty accessing application resources, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is rolling out an application roadshows around the country. NSFAS administrator Randall Carolissen said that the NSFAS had received more than 42,000 applications so far with a daily average of more than 3,600 applications a day. He urged prospective students to take advantage of the roadshows to make sure they get their applications in on time. In the year since Carolissen took over the running of the institution, a number of changes including partnering with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and allowing students to update their details online, has seen an improvement in the processing of applications. The cut off date for 2020 applications is November 30 2019.

Clashing students force Unisa to call off debate on xenophobia and femicide

A panel discussion at Unisa planned for Friday (September 13) ended in chaos as student organisations, including the South African Students Congress (SASCO) and the EFF Students Command, clashed. As the organiser, Shatadi Phoshoko, was about to open the programme loud chanting from the back of the auditorium drowned her out and she was told to sit down and be quiet as they did not recognise her. Phoshoko said she did not know why she was treated that way, stating that she knew some people had not been happy about the event. “I felt attacked and maybe they do not respect me because I am a female. It is shocking behaviour, given the state of the country and the violence being meted out to women. This discussion was meant to address such issues,” said Phoshoko. The head of security at the university, JP Matlala, condemned the incident and promised that there would be additional security at venues in future. Unisa spokesperson Martin Ramotshela said the university would be engaging with the affected parties. – Read more on the IOL news site

Stellies student wins big with her edible straws

Stellenbosch University student Leila Siljeur’s edible straws took first place at this year’s Allan Gray Orbis Foundation National Jamboree. The second-year chemical engineering student won R50,000 for inventing the “Eat Me Straw”, an edible and biodegradable straw made from naturally decomposing ingredients. Siljeur’s straws come in various flavours and stay firm when in liquid. The texture of the straws is a mixture between liquorice and dry fruit and include a vegan option and a health option made of fruit. The student was moved to create the straw alternative after seeing horrific pictures of a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose. Siljeur is planning to have her straws mass produced after the product is certified and tested. She has been selling them on campus since last year. “The feedback from the students who have bought the straws was positive. They love the straws,” Siljeur said. – You can read more on this story on the Cape Talk news site