Senior management of the Durban University of Technology have condemned the use of live ammunition on students saying they would act swiftly once competent authorities have completed their investigations. Picture: Zainul Dawood
DURBAN - Senior management of the Durban University of Technology have condemned the use of live ammunition on students saying they would act swiftly once competent authorities have completed their investigations.

Addressing the media at a Durban hotel earlier today, DUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Thandwa Mthembu said two security officers from Xcellent Security Services were taken in for questioning by the police on Tuesday afternoon. 

The two officers are believed to be the gun-carrying officers that fired at protesting students and killed a third-year Business Administration student, Mlungisi Madonsela on Tuesday. 

"We are saddened by these developments. We profusely apologise to the parents and guardians of our students; students, staff members, alumni, DUT external stakeholders and the entire South African nation," Mthembu said. 

He expressed condolences to Madonsela's family, friends and comrades.  According to the institution, Madonsela was shot during "a scuffle" that happened between students and security guards. 

"On behalf of the DUT leadership and management, I am truly sorry. I hope we will all give the deserved respect to the late Mlungisi, and his family as it grapples with this terrible loss."

He said staff and other students were also injured in the action. 

"I also wish our injured staff members and students speedy recovery, particularly those who are hospitalised as a result of sustaining serious injuries," he said.

Mthembu said the institution would remain closed until further notice. 

Students planned for a total shutdown and started protesting on Monday, mainly due to issues relating to NSFAS funding and student housing.

According to the memorandum, students are demanding: 
  • All students to be unblocked and be allowed to register irrespective of their circumstances
  • All BTech students to be funded by NSFAS

The shutdown of some residences that students are unhappy with: 
  • Insourcing of security and cleaning staff belonging to private companies contracted with DUT
  • DUT to ensure safety of students using our leased transport service
  • The principle of ‘first-come-first-served’ should replace the system of booking appointments at the clinic
  • End to victimisation of student activists
  • Total shutdown of the university until all demands are met.

- THE MERCURY