Johannesburg – The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) started a full forensic investigation on Friday after the death of a student during clashes after a controversial election of the Students Representative Council (SRC).
The student was shot dead on the TUT North Campus in Soshanguve after battles that took place after an SRC voting dispute on Thursday evening. Witnesses of the SRC-fracas said that members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) shot at students with live ammunition and that one was killed while the other was injured.
TUT spokeswoman Willa de Ruyter said that according to reports, the SRC elections in the northern and southern campuses of Soshanguve had problems due to a shortage of ballots, as well as presumptions that an official took ballots when he moved to another station to cast.
De Ruyter said that an independent external service provider manages the SRC elections at the university and that the elections went smoothly on all campuses, except for Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa.
"This resulted in confrontations between a group of about 300 students and damage to property on the southern campus of Soshanguve. The students then moved to the northern campus where the president-officer was attacked." The SAPS had to intervene in an attempt to spread the situation on campus, "de Ruyter said.
"In case of a shooting incident outside the campus, a student suffered fatal injury. The shooting took place at a distance from where the SAPS distributed the protesting group of students. The name of the student is released once the family has been informed. helping the family with the funeral of the student. "
De Ruyter said vchancellor and professor, professor Lourens van Staden and the executive management committee have expressed their fear of the death of a student.
All activities on the Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa campuses are suspended on Friday and in the weekend, while the university board will discuss the possibility of having the elections run again.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said it would investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Moses Dlamini, Ipid's national spokesman, said in a statement that according to the South African Police (SAPS) report, it was claimed that students were holding SRC elections during the day and that the police were called to the campus around 6 pm after the presiding officer, the students were taken hostage and ill-treated.
Dlamini said that the postmortem of the deceased student will be held on Friday at the Garankuwa death toll and that the docket will be collected the same day for further investigation.
African news agency (ANA)