The EFF Student Command (EFFSC) has accused the Durban University of Technology (DUT) of being behind the killing of a student who died after being shot during a violent protest on Tuesday.
EFFSC member Mlungisi Madonsela from Jozini in northern KwaZulu-Natal who was a final-year student at DUT was shot allegedly by a security guard at the Steve Biko campus on Tuesday afternoon. He later died in hospital.
At a hastily convened media briefing outside campus on Wednesday morning, SRC president Sesiyande Godlimpi accused DUT of hiring izinkabi (hitmen) to “kill innocent fighters and ordinary students for demanding what rightfully belongs to them which is free education”.
Expressing condolences to Madonsela’s family, Godlimpi said: “He died a painful death yet revolutionary death. At this time we share the pain of Madonsela’s family in spirit, emotionally and physically.”
He described the situation at DUT as a crisis.
“We are being killed by people who are supposed to be protecting us. We are being killed by people who do not afford this education we want.”
On Monday the SRC submitted a memorandum to vice-chancellor Prof Thandwa Mthembu in which they demanded the unblocking of students, a resolution to accommodation crises and the insourcing of security guards and cleaners.
Godlimpi said they were called to a meeting on Tuesday to address the issues they had raised.
“We were hoping to have a fruitful and healthy discussions with the executive. However, the executive decided not to engage on issues raised, rather to intimidate and threaten us with expulsion.
“The entire meeting that we had with the executive was nothing but how we are going to be dealt with systemically,” he said.
He said he was arrested on Tuesday and released on bail. However he said he did not know what he was charged with.
The situation remained tense at the troubled campus on Tuesday in the wake of Madonsela’s death.
A group of EFF Student Command members have gathered outside the university after management decided to shut down the institution indefinitely because of ongoing protests.
Scores of other students sat on the road while EFF-aligned students sang and toyi-toyied while the police kept a close watch on the situation.
DUT did not immediately respond to queries. The university will be holding a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.