DUT shooting: Security guards suspended after student dies

2019-02-07 20:24
File photo of protesting Durban University of Technology students. (Kaveel Singh/News24)

File photo of protesting Durban University of Technology students. (Kaveel Singh/News24)

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Following the shooting at the Durban University of Technology, where a student was killed during clashes with security, the institution has confirmed that two security guards have been suspended.

In a statement by DUT management on Thursday afternoon, the university said the security guards had been suspended by the security company contracted by the university, pending the outcome of the company's investigation.

Furthermore, DUT was also conducting its own investigation into the shooting that led to the death of student Mlungisi Madonsela on Tuesday.

DUT previously said that they would consider severing ties with its security company if investigations revealed transgressions.

DUT shooting

News24 previously reported that Madonsela was shot during an altercation with security guards at one of DUT's campuses and later died in hospital from a gunshot wound.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele told News24 that a group of about 30 students had stoned the administration building on Tuesday, injuring an administration staffer and a security guard.

Mbhele was unable to say what the extent of the injuries were.

"From there, they (the protesting students) proceeded to Gates 3, 4 and 5 [and] did the same thing," said Mbhele.

Security at the respective gates called for back-up and it is understood that the student was shot during a confrontation at one of the gates. Where exactly the student was shot was also expected to form part of the investigation, Mbhele said.

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

"This has been a very sad and traumatic week for the DUT community. The death of Mr Mlungisi Madonsela has traumatised us, as we are saddened by the loss of a young life," DUT management said in a statement on Thursday.

"We are also concerned about our staff members who were injured in the protest action on Tuesday afternoon. Two staff members and a few of students suffered serious injuries after being attacked during the protest action.

"A spouse of one of our colleagues was also attacked whilst he was trying to assist the injured on Tuesday afternoon. He had to receive medical treatment in hospital. We pray for their safe and speedy recovery."

Meeting with DUT SRC

DUT said that a meeting between the student representative council and management scheduled for Thursday had been postponed to allow the student leadership to attend the court case with their peers.

However, the SRC said that they were disappointed that the meeting had been cancelled. It was also confirmed that the case against the students, who were part of the fatal clash, had been struck off the court roll.

READ MORE: DUT shooting: SRC still waiting to meet management

"They promised to meet with us this morning, but it was cancelled. We are disappointed by this because we would like a way forward at the soonest," SRC president Sesethu Godlimpi told News24 outside DUT.

DUT said that they would be meeting with a team from NSFAS on Thursday evening to address issues raised by the student leadership and that they would then meet with the SRC on Friday.

While the situation at the university was much calmer on Thursday, DUT management said the university remained closed, and a heavy police presence could still be seen on campus grounds.

DUT meets Madonsela's family

According to the statement, DUT management also met with the Madonsela family on Thursday morning to pay their respects, convey their condolences and offer support.

"The family were grateful for the visit from DUT and welcomed us into their home. Whilst the family are understandably distraught, they managed to inform us that they are hoping to have the funeral service for Mr Mlungisi Madonsela during the course of next week."

"DUT has offered to assist the family with the funeral service and they have accepted our offer. We will also plan a memorial service for Mr Madonsela on campus but we will need to engage with the family to seek their advice and approval and we will also consult with the SRC."

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Read more on:    dut  |  durban  |  university protests
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