SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: June 23, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Mangosuthu University of Technology

Region & Country:Southern Africa | South Africa

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 23, 2022, buildings and cars were set on fire at the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), causing the indefinite suspension of academic activities.

MUT representatives alleged that a group of 30 students started fires at various locations on campus, and threw stones at security guards. Following the destruction of campus property, MUT suspended all academic activity.

On June 23, police arrested two students from University of Zululand and University of Kwazulu-Natal for their alleged role in the violence. On June 26, MUT suspended 22 students who were also allegedly involved.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the destruction of campus property. While students have a right to freedom of expression, they also have a responsibility to exercise these rights peacefully and responsibly. The destruction of campus property harms the ability of higher education communities to safely and adequately conduct research, teaching, and other academic activities. State authorities have a responsibility to protect higher education communities, investigate threats, and hold perpetrators responsible. Such incidents undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.