Assault alleged: SRC leader in dock

2010-10-27 00:00

THE president-elect of the Student Represetative Council at Durban University of Technology (DUT) is in hot water again following an alleged assault a few days before his inauguration.

Phumlani Duma was elected DUT midlands SRC president on September 23. He is also the deputy president of the main SRC.

He was arrested on Monday for having allegedly assaulted four women students.

He appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday. The SRC and South African Student Congress (Sasco) were in court to support him.

The midlands SRC is still preparing for his inauguration.

Duma, a third-year student in management, was allegedly drunk when he started a lengthy assault at DUT’s Indumiso Campus at about 1 am on Sunday.

The four women said Duma and his friends, who are from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and DUT Durban campuses, assaulted them with bricks and fists.

The confrontation ended when Duma left in a red VW Polo.

The women opened a case at the Plessislaer police station. Duma was arrested on campus on Monday afternoon.

Said Ayanda Mchunu (22), “I was in Block Two when Phumlani hit me with an open hand across the face. He also dragged me by my hair along the corridors.

“His three friends also joined in and one of them hit me with a brick on my shoulder,”

Other victims are Londeka Khanyile (20), Londeka Ngubane (21) and Slindile Shabalala (21). All four are first-year students in public management.

The trouble started when Duma allegedly assaulted Shabalala in Mchunu’s room, which is next to his.

“He came from a Sasco party in Imbali Unit CC very drunk. “As he could not open his door he asked me to help him, I refused and he became annoyed,” said Shabalala.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said Duma was released on warning to appear in court yesterday.

When contacted, Duma insulted the reporter repeatedly, while denying that he appeared in court yesterday.

“First of all the SRC does not have a president because the newly elected SRC has not been inaugurated.

“Write whatever you like because that is your way of selling the paper,” said Duma.

Main SRC secretary Mthobeli Siphamla said he is unaware of the charges against Duma.

Students said it is common for students to assault each other on the campus.

Professor Nqabomzi Gawe, deputy vice-chancellor in Institutional Support said: “Durban University of Technology has received a report from the midlands campus security regarding the allegations of assault by SRC leader Phumlani Duma. The university is investigating the matter. Action will be taken after the investigation has been concluded …”

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