TUT campus in revolt after student's shooting death
The third-year law student, believed to be a member of the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania, was fatally wounded on Thursday night amid allegations of vote rigging during the TUT SRC elections.
Ioid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said, according to the police, that they were called to the scene after a presiding officer in the elections had been held hostage and was assaulted by students.
They rescued the officer but students barricaded the entrance, throwing stones at the police vehicles.
Police claim to have fired shots at the ground but students blame them for shooting and killing the student.
Thousands of students had the township on lockdown yesterday as they marched to the police station. Traffic was disturbed and roads blocked. Some shops closed for the day as students marched past.
The students carried hand-made placards with messages such as “#Justice for Katlego - the brutality of police and victimisation of students shall end”. Others read “The cops are killing us” and “Enough is enough”.
Police fired tear gas, stun-grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the students.
Armed police manned the entrance and a 30-minute stand-off between them and students took place.
Police, speaking on a loudhailer, said investigations were under way, but the students were having none of that and pelted the station with stones.
Police retaliated with tear gas, stun-grenades and rubber bullets.
Some students fell down and were hurt in the clash.
Thabiso Sekowane, of South African Students Congress (Sasco), warned police to brace themselves for more protest action. “All the comrades from all the student organisations have agreed that we will make Soshanguve station ungovernable until the policeman that killed our comrade is brought to book.
“If they want they can kill us all,” Sekowane said.
Police have denied they shot anyone, saying that when they left the scene nobody was left hurt or dead. They say they only heard later that a student had been shot and injured.
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said they were informed he died in an ambulance on the R80, en route to hospital.
A post-mortem was due to be held yesterday at Ga-Rankuwa mortuary.
Chaos erupted on campus at about 5pm on Thursday when a presiding officer was allegedly caught trying to steal a box of ballot papers.
Students wanted to attack him, but security guards intervened and took him to the safety of their control room and called in police.
An associate of the man who died said they arrived to find him lying on the ground outside the campus gate, bleeding from the ear.
They arrived to find the injured student lying on the ground outside the campus and bleeding just above the ear.
According to Dlamini police were called in after they were told that the presiding officer was held hostage.
“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 according to Dlamini.
Students also set alight the institution’s radio station yesterday.
TUT vice-chancellor and principal Professor Lourens van Staden and the executive management committee were shocked at the death of a student outside the Soshanguve North Campus, said TUT spokesperson Willa de Rutyer.
She said they had reports of disruptions during vote casting at both the Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa campuses.