Wits probing death of employee

2016-09-27 18:24
Hundreds of people take part in a protest at Wits University in Johannesburg. (Iavan Piljoos, News24)

Hundreds of people take part in a protest at Wits University in Johannesburg. (Iavan Piljoos, News24)

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Johannesburg – Wits University is investigating the death of a cleaner during student protests last week, the institution said on Tuesday.

Management shared condolences with Celumusa Ntuli’s family, the university’s senior staff said in a message to students.

Ntuli, 39, was cleaning in the Jubilee Hall residence last Tuesday when protesters entered and released fire extinguishers. He apparently had an asthma attack and the campus’ health and wellness centre staff attended to him.

He was treated at Milpark Hospital for three days, but developed complications after being discharged and died while being taken back to the hospital.

"The cause of death is still to be determined. The University’s Campus Control, together with Mr Ntuli’s employer, are conducting investigations into the incident."

Meanwhile, student leader Mcebo Dlamini criticised the reactions of both management and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

"They seem to be celebrating this death as if to prove a point," he told News24.

He believed the death was being used to discredit student protests for free education.

Students shut their books and downed pens after Nzimande announced last Monday that universities could decide their own fee increases for 2017, up to a maximum of 8%.


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