Assault victim lays new charge against DUT student council

2011-07-19 00:00

A STUDENT at the Midlands campus of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) has laid a charge of assault against members of the student representative council (SRC).

Kgotso Machili (33) believes his assault is to do with calls by him and other students to dissolve the SRC.

Machili, a public relations student, told The Witness that the midlands branch of the SA Students’ Congress (Sasco) organised a Mandela Day function at the university on Saturday. The event is said to have been attended by the senior leadership of Sasco’s provincial executive committee and members of the DUT SRC, including the president and his deputy.

Machili said that as he was driving into the campus after the function a minibus that usually transports SRC members drove up behind him with a security guard at the wheel.

“They motioned for me to stop because they wanted to talk to me. When I drove on they followed me and as soon as I stepped out of the car they started assaulting me.”

Machili said the rest of the SRC members were standing not far away, drinking.

“They asked me if I couldn’t hear. They said that I was influencing people against the SRC …”

Machili was able to identify only one of his assailants, the brother of one of the SRC members.

It is not the first time Machili has had a run-in with the SRC.

Last year, he says, he was beaten by a student who was also accused of assaulting several women. The student was suspended, but reinstated after a disciplinary hearing.

“I reported the matter to the university’s protection department just as a formality because clearly the university supports this brutality against students, otherwise these people would not still be in power.

“I have not heard anything about what transpired during the hearing when I was first assaulted,” said Machili.

Police confirmed that a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was opened.

The Witness was unable to reach the president of the SRC, while the university said it could only comment today.

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