DUT shooting: University will consider terminating security contract if violations are found

Durban University of Technology (DUT) will consider severing ties with its security company if investigations reveal transgressions, the institution's management says.

"With any contractual relationship, if serious violations of a contract are found and if they are at fault, we will sever our relationship. At this stage however, investigations must be completed," DUT vice-chancellor Professor Thandwa Mthembu said on Wednesday.

He was speaking during a press briefing at the Coastlands Hotel in Umhlanga after the death of third-year student Mlungisi Madonsela. The student was allegedly shot and killed by private security guards on Tuesday afternoon following protests.

READ: Murder case opened after DUT student shot during violent protest

"We condemn the use of firearms against our students and when our students are engaged in protest action."

Mthembu said the university "deeply regretted" the death of a student and said investigations would reveal more accurate details.

"Beyond the police investigation, we will do our own investigation. We will obviously have to work closely with police. On behalf of the DUT leadership and management, I am truly sorry."

He added: "We condemn the use of live ammunition in the strongest possible terms. We will act swiftly once competent authorities have completed their investigations."

Mthembu said most security guards at DUT did not carry firearms.

"Of the 250 security we have, just six carry firearms. The reason for this is because of safety from outside elements. We have had incidents of muggings and people being held at gun and knifepoint."

University engaging with family

He said the university touched base with the Madonsela family.

"We have sent a team from student services who have gone to the family today (Wednesday) to see what kind of support we can offer them."

Mthembu added that it was unfortunate that family members discovered the tragedy before the university could inform them.

"We are sorry the family got to know about this before we could officially inform them."

Police are investigating a case of murder and at least two security officials having been questioned.

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