TUT students protest over peer's death, allegedly at the hands of police
Chaos erupted on Wednesday as around 300 students marched through the Pretoria CBD protesting over the death of a student who was allegedly shot by police last week.
The student was allegedly killed at the Tshwane University of Technology's (TUT) Soshanguve campus, in Pretoria, on Thursday night amid allegations of vote-rigging just before voting stations closed during the campus' student representative council (SRC) elections.
Multiple shops closed down as students marched through the streets banging on windows and metal shutters. The march was apparently illegal as students had handed in their application too late for it to be approved by police.
Students also banged on police Nyalas and climbed onto the roofs of the armoured police vehicles.
As students came to a stop on Pretorius Street to hand over a memorandum to police, they also set fire to a tyre and a plastic barricade while chanting struggle songs and intermittently shouting "fuck the police".
Students demanded that Police Minister Bheki Cele be the one to accept the memorandum and attempted to chase Deputy Minister Bongani Mkongi away.
Call for public apology
They eventually read out the memorandum and handed it over to Mkongi.
Mkongi said the matter was being investigated by police and that a draft report had already been requested from the station commander of Soshanguve police station.
Students have demanded that Cele hold the Soshanguve police station accountable and that a special police task team be established to investigate the death of the student.
They have also demanded that Cele meet with students and that he publicly apologise for the shooting.
News24 previously reported that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) was investigating whether the student was killed by police as alleged.
IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said, according to the police, they were called to the scene after a presiding officer was allegedly held hostage and assaulted by students.
Police officers then drove to the campus in 10 vehicles and were able to rescue the presiding officer.
On their way out, about 200 students had barricaded the entrance of the campus.
Anger over live ammunition
"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," Dlamini said.
The student died on the way to hospital.
TUT student Gilbert Monnanyana told News24 that students are irate that police were on campus with live ammunition during their SRC elections and said many questions had to be answered.
"When did TUT become a playground for police to practice their shooting?" asked Monnanyana.
He also said that students were unhappy that Cele was not present to receive the memorandum.
Monnanyana said that the student who was killed was the first and only person in his family to go to university and that he had planned to free his family from a life of poverty after completing his studies.
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