Thousands pay tribute to slain Tshwane University of Technology student

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) student, Andries Monareng's  death has robbed the world of the vast talent and potential he offered, the university's vice-chancellor, Professor Lourens van Staden, said on Thursday.

Van Staden was addressing thousands of students, staff members and management members at Monareng's memorial service at the Soshanguve campus on Thursday.

"As I stand before you today, I am extremely sad about the life of your son, friend, a leader, a young man with a bright future and our student, who was tragically, untimely and abruptly brought to an end," van Staden said.

Monareng was shot outside the Soshanguve campus when protests broke out following allegations of vote rigging during the Student Representative Council (SRC) elections.

In a statement, university spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said, apart from the university's vice-chancellor, various representatives from student political structures were given the opportunity to speak at the memorial.

READ: TUT students protest over peer's death, allegedly at the hands of police

Van Staden said the university planned to do everything in its power to get to the bottom of what caused the tragedy that led to Monareng's death.

"The high-level engagement meeting between TUT management, student leadership, the [SA Police Service] and Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), as well as the executive of the TUT council the past week, demonstrates our commitment to find answers," he added.

De Ruyter also said that the university had appointed SNG Grant Thornton to conduct a full-scale, independent forensic investigation into allegations of irregularities during the 2018 SRC elections and the subsequent protest action at the Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa campuses.

"This investigation will complement that of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) into the death of Mr Monareng," Ruyter said.

On Wednesday, hundreds of students marched through the Pretoria CBD to protest against the death of the student.

They handed over a memorandum to police, demanding that Police Minister Bheki Cele hold the Soshanguve police station accountable and that a special police task team be established to investigate the death.

The student is expected to be laid to rest in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga on Saturday.

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