TUT resumes classes following violent protests

2018-09-09 20:45
(TUT)

(TUT)

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Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) will resume lectures on Monday to allow students to prepare for the upcoming test week.

TUT spokesperson Willa De Ruyter said the institution had obtained an interdict from the High Court in Pretoria to prevent violent protestors from entering the campus.

"We are just trying to normalise the situation. The interdict will prevent violence and protesting on campus," she said.

While she denied that students had been interdicted from entering the Soshanguve and South campuses, she admitted that a certain group of students had been identified as violent protesters.

Last month, around 300 students marched through the Pretoria CBD protesting over the death of a student who was allegedly shot by police.

Andries Monareng was allegedly killed at TUT's Soshanguve campus in Pretoria, following allegations of vote-rigging just before voting stations closed during the campus' student representative council (SRC) elections.

De Ruyter said that the university has had ongoing engagement with student leaders and student structures and has responded to all of their demands.

She added that a forensic investigation into the SRC elections has been launched.

"This is an independent investigation that will help us figure out what went wrong."

The investigation will complement the investigation led by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini had previously told News24 that, according to the police, they were called to the scene after a presiding officer was allegedly held hostage and assaulted by students.

Dlamini said police officers had driven to the campus in 10 vehicles and were able to rescue the presiding officer.

On their way out, about 200 students had barricaded the entrance of the campus.

Dlamini said the students also stoned the police vehicles.

"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.

Outgoing SRC president Matimba Ngobeni appeared to welcome the resumption of classes.

"The prolonged students protest was justifiable when the anger amongst students was very high following the death of Comrade Andries Monareng, but it has degenerated into isolated disruptions of university academic programme which might result into confrontation between students who wish to go to class and those leading the protests," he said.

Ngobeni also claims that the university failed to provide oversight during the SRC elections process.

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