TUT bigwigs Dr Eskia Morake, Professor Lourens van Staden and Professor Stanley Mukhola address the media regarding last week’s SRC elections and unrest, which left a student dead.
TUT bigwigs Dr Eskia Morake, Professor Lourens van Staden and Professor Stanley Mukhola address the media regarding last week’s SRC elections and unrest, which left a student dead.
Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
STUDENTS at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Soshanguve will have to wait until next week to forge a solid way forward following a week of suspended classes.

Dr Eskia Moroka, deputy vice-chancellor of student affairs and extra-curricula development, said further arrangements with regard to the failed SRC election process would be attended to after the mourning period, as classes across all six campuses remained suspended, with flags flown at half-mast in honour of the late Katlego Monareng.

The third-level LLB student lost his life, allegedly at the hands of the police, during the unrest that followed the flopped SRC elections last week.

“That would mean that from next week we would definitely have to think of a way forward with regards to completing the election process at both Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa campuses,” said Moroka.

On other campuses - Pretoria West, Mbombela, eMalahleni and Polokwane - elections ran smoothly.

Professor Stanley Mukhola, deputy vice-chancellor, said that due to the week-long mourning period, the academic calender would be altered.

On Monday, a meeting was conducted with the executive dean to discuss a way forward in order to salvage the time lost this week.

“The exams were suppose to start in early November, but now we have decided they will start on November 12 and end on November 30,” he said.

This would in turn affect the the re-examination date, which would be scheduled from December 3 to 14.

Also to be affected is the predicate day (set aside to find out about the examination appeal), which will be on November 5. Saturday classes have been proposed.

Mukhola said: “We have met and discussed with the student leaders and the Deputy Minister of Police, (Bongani Mkongi) that calm will be restored while we wait for the investigation to take its course.”

This comes after student groups told the Pretoria News they were shutting down the university until the investigation was completed.

Vice-chancellor Professor Lou-rens van Staden said there were long-term solutions to contain the violence-ridden Soshanguve campuses. He said a pilot project on University Safety, which was initiated by Minister of Police Bheki Cele, would be implemented, together with building sophisticated technology, like access with fingerprint and a more secure perimeter fencing around the campuses.

Asked why the Soshanguve campuses had been inundated with violence over the years, Van Staden said a numbers of factors came into play, but what contributed the most was the number of taverns and drug dealers around the institution.

“This is not conducive to a learning environment,” he said.

According to management, the external audit company that oversaw the SRC elections had mishandled and mismanaged them.

“This is a new company. For the past three years we used another company and experienced no problems. But because of the procurement process and rules we had to change the company,” said Mukhola.

It is believed that students had been demanding answers after an independent presiding officer was found with a box full of used ballot papers.

Students confronted the presiding officer resulting in security services intervening.

Students wanted to attack the man, but security guards took him to the safety of their control room and called in police.

It was during the scuffle that Monareng was shot twice in the head.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said that it was investigating the incident.

“The police reported that they fired into the ground with R5 rifles and that when they left no one was injured, but police vehicles were damaged” Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said.

“The police claimed they were later informed that a student had been shot and injured. The student died in an ambulance en route to hospital” he said.

A memorial service will be held at the Soshanguve North campus at 11am tomorrow for Monareng.

He will be buried on Saturday in Bushbuckridge.