IPID nabs alleged 'shooter' and 'commanding officer' for TUT student's murder

2018-10-22 17:43
One of two police officers arrested by IPID for the murder of a TUT student in August. (Alex Mitchley/News24)

One of two police officers arrested by IPID for the murder of a TUT student in August. (Alex Mitchley/News24)

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Two police officers, arrested for the murder of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) student Katlego Monareng during Student Representative Council (SRC) elections in August, allegedly played different roles in the shooting.

Monareng was shot dead when the elections turned into violent protests and he died on the way to hospital.

At the time of the protests, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Moses Dlamini said police had been called to the scene after students allegedly held a presiding officer hostage and assaulted him.

As police headed out, about 200 students barricaded the entrance to the campus.

"The police reported that they fired at the ground with R5 rifles and that when they left, no one was injured, but police vehicles were damaged. The police were later informed that a student had been shot and injured," Dlamini said at the time.

On Monday, IPID arrested a constable and captain, stationed at the Soshanguve police station, and took them to the Pretoria North police station where they were detained.

According to information which News24 reliably received later on Monday, it is alleged that the constable was the shooter and that the captain was the commanding officer who allegedly gave the order to open fire.

Dlamini confirmed that evidence IPID had collected did not confirm the men's version that they shot towards the ground. As a result, both were charged with murder.

Law must take its course

TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter welcomed the progress IPID had made in the investigation and said the law would have to follow its course.

She added that good progress had also been made in the full-scale forensic investigation into allegations of irregularities during the SRC elections at the Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve campuses and Monareng's subsequent death on August 23.

"The university has received a preliminary report, but challenges such as the closure of the Soshanguve campuses for four weeks due to disruptions, have hampered the investigation and delayed the release of the final report," De Ruyter said in a statement.

"Thus far, SNG Grant Thornton has interviewed 160 TUT officials and representatives from all student structures at the Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve campuses. Site inspections have been conducted and a large volume of documentary evidence has been collected and reviewed.

"Furthermore, the company is in the process of verifying the election results at campuses where the preliminary results have been issued."

De Ruyter said the investigation was expected to be finalised by October 31.

Arrests welcomed

The ANC in Gauteng also welcomed the arrests, saying that they would send a strong message that no one was above the law.

"The ANC Gauteng province welcomes this development as it indicates that the investigation was conducted swiftly and that justice will now take its course," ANC Gauteng spokesperson Tasneem Motara said in a statement.

"However, as the ANC, we are concerned that those who are trained and employed to protect South Africans have now found themselves on the wrong side of the law."

The ANC called on IPID to investigate the matter thoroughly to get to the bottom of the events.

"We also have confidence in the court procedures that will follow in order to conclude this case expeditiously."

TUT protests

Following Monareng's death, academic activities were closed at Soshanguve north and south campuses for six weeks.

READ MORE: TUT students protest over peer's death

News24 previously reported that management suspended activities indefinitely.

"Due to the volatility of the situation and the risk to the safety of staff and students, the university had no choice but to come to this decision, which aims to normalise the situation at the institution," De Ruyter previously said in a statement.

TUT obtained an order from the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in September to prevent unrest on TUT's grounds.

Read more on:    tut  |  anc  |  ipid  |  pretoria  |  crime  |  police
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