A 20-year-old Durban University of Technology (DUT) student was shot, allegedly by a private security guard, during a protest outside the Steve Biko Campus on Tuesday afternoon. He later succumbed to his wounds in hospital.
According to a statement issued by Siyabonga Shongwe, deputy chairperson of SASCO DUT branch in Durban, the student’s name is Mlungisi Madonsela and he was going to do his third year in business administration. SAPS provincial spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said a group of about 30 students stoned the administration building, injuring an administration staffer and a security guard.
“The protesting students proceeded to other gates and did the same thing. Security at the respective gates called for back-up and it is understood that the student was shot during a confrontation at one of the gates,” said Mbhele.
“Four students had been arrested for public violence. A case of murder is being investigated,” added Mbele.
Philani Nduli, who is the provincial chairperson of the EFF Student’s Command, confirmed that the shooting happened as students and security guards clashed.
“We don’t know where a real gun suddenly came from, but we heard a gun shot and shortly thereafter a student was rushed to hospital. Later on we heard that he had died,” commented Nduli.
The university management confirmed the student’s passing.
“The university is saddened by the unfortunate incident, and due to the sensitivity of this incident, the university cannot divulge further details at this stage. DUT sends its deepest sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. We plead that the family and the university be offered the opportunity to grieve the passing of the student,” said Alan Khan, DUT’s senior director for corporate affairs.
Following the shooting and other violent altercations, the university management has decided to close the institution until further notice.
Before the incident, the DUT management had confirmed that their campuses were shut down due to mass protest action that erupted at several campuses on Monday and were expected to re-open on Thursday.
Students were protesting funding delays with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and delayed registration processes.
The KZN ANCYL provincial chairperson, Kwazi Mshengu, stated that the league was saddened by the loss of life.
“We think that under no circumstances should we allow a situation where there is loss of life. We understand that there has been a confrontation between the EFFSC and the security on this (DUT) campus, but we want to appeal to everyone exercise restraint, and exercise caution,” said Mshengu.
Meanwhile the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) also experienced heavy protests that resulted in two cars allegedly being burnt by students, one belonging to the university security services at Westville campus and the other a private vehicle at Howard College. A guard hut was also set alight at the Westville campus.
UKZN university spokesperson, Normah Zondo said the academic programme was suspended on Monday.
“University management has received a memorandum of grievances from the UKZN Student Representative Council (SRC). The suspension will allow management space to engage with student leadership and address matters whilst ensuring the safety and security of all concerned.”
Central SRC secretary general at UKZN, Siyabonga Khumalo, said, “Students must pay 50% of money they owe in order to register. This is not possible. No student can come up with that much money at this time of year.”