Students and police clash at the Tshwane University of Technology in Soshanguve. Picture: Sakhile Ndlazi

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) on Friday said it will be investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting incident where a student was killed at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).

A student has been shot dead at the TUT north campus in Sohshanguve following scuffles that took place after a Student Representative Council (SRC) voting dispute on Thursday night. 

Witnesses to the SRC fracas said police shot at students with live ammunition and one student was shot dead while another was wounded.

Moses Dlamini, Ipid national spokesperson, said in a statement that according to the report received from the South African Police Service (SAPS), it is alleged that students held SRC elections during the day and at about 6pm police were called to the campus after the presiding officer was allegedly held hostage and assaulted by the students. 

"The police drove into the campus in about 10 police vehicles and they managed to rescue the presiding officer. On their way out of the campus, the students allegedly barricaded the entrance of the campus and started throwing stones at the police and their vehicles. There were about 2 000 students," Dlamini said. 

"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. The student died in an ambulance en-route to hospital on the R80 road. Police firearms were seized for ballistics testing."

Dlamini said the post-mortem of the dead student will be held on Friday at Garankuwa mortuary and that the docket will be collected the same day for further investigations.

The university remains open, but security has been heightened. TUT has not released an official statement yet. 

The ANC meanwhile, said it was deeply concerned by allegations that police may have used live ammunition during the shooting incident in which a student was killed at TUT.

In a statement, the ANC urged students and university authorities alike to ensure that SRC elections were conducted peacefully and with integrity. It also called on authorities to respect students' right to legitimate protest. 

"As a matter of principle, under no circumstances should live ammunition be used on campus. We are confident that the law enforcement agencies will leave no stone unturned in the investigation of the circumstances surrounding this sad incident. The ANC urges authorities to ensure that this investigation is conducted and concluded with the utmost urgency," ANC said.

"Our institutions of learning must be homes for political tolerance and free democratic engagements. Our commitment to freedom of expression and the right to protest must also find practical expression at these institutions of higher learning."

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African News Agency (ANA)