Durban - Durban University of Technology (DUT) will help pay for the funeral costs of 20-year-old student Mlungisi Madonsela, who was shot at the institution's Steve Biko campus on Tuesday, allegedly during a scuffle with security guards, and later died in hospital.
In a statement released on Thursday evening, DUT said members of its management team had met with the Madonsela family earlier in the day. The family was "grateful" for the visit "and welcomed us into their home".
"Whilst the family are understandably distraught, they managed to inform us that they are hoping to have the funeral service for Mr. Mlungisi Madonsela during the course of next week. They promised to inform us of the specific date once it has been confirmed. We will then advise [the media] once we receive the funeral details."
The family accepted DUT's offer to assist with the funeral, said the statement.
"We will also plan a memorial service for Mr. Madonsela on campus but we will need to engage with the family to seek their advice and approval and we will also consult with the SRC."
Madonsela's death had left the institution traumatised and saddened at the loss of a young life, said the statement.
"We are also concerned about our staff members who were injured in the protest action on Tuesday afternoon. Two staff members and a few students suffered serious injuries after being attacked during the protest action.
"A spouse of one of our colleagues was also attacked whilst he was trying to assist the injured on Tuesday afternoon. He had to receive medical treatment in hospital. We pray for their safe and speedy recovery. DUT will offer counselling services to all students and staff who require assistance following the tragic events this week. Once we reopen, students can visit Student Health and staff can liaise with Human Resources EAP office."
University management had been meeting daily since the commencement of the unrest on Monday to deal with the resultant challenges facing the university.
According to the statement, the two guards that were allegedly involved in the shooting of Madonsela had been suspended by their security company. The university would also be conducting an investigation and the police investigation was ongoing.
"A DUT management delegation will be meeting with a team from NSFAS [on Thursday night] to address issues raised by the student leadership. Management is then planning to meet with the SRC on Friday to consult with them following the NSFAS engagement and to canvass their opinion about the proposed memorial service for Mr Madonsela."
"We are also aware that a number of students still need to complete their 2019 registration. We urge all unregistered students to register online through the DUT website.
"We wish our colleagues a speedy recovery. We also wish the husband of our colleague well. We wish to reiterate the need to offer the Madonsela family and friends of Mlungisi a chance to peacefully grieve. The university remains closed. We are committed to a peaceful reopening of the university and we shall inform all stakeholders of developments in this regard," read the statement.
African News Agency (ANA)