UPDATE: Ipid to investigate police after TUT student death

Ballot papers burning. Picture: Daso

Ballot papers burning. Picture: Daso

Students have accused police of using live ammunition during the chaos.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) on Friday said it would be investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting incident where a student was killed at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).

Moses Dlamini, Ipid national spokesman, explained that according to the report received from the South African Police Service (SAPS), students held SRC elections during the day, and that at about 18:00 police were called to the campus after the presiding officer was allegedly held hostage and assaulted by the students.
“The police drove into the campus in about 10 police vehicles and they managed to rescue the presiding officer. On their way out of the campus, the students allegedly barricaded the entrance of the campus and started throwing stones at the police and their vehicles. There were about 2 000 students,” Dlamini said.

“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. The student died in an ambulance en route to hospital on the R80 road. Police firearms were seized for ballistics testing.”

Dlamini said the post-mortem of the dead student would be held on Friday at Garankuwa Mortuary and that the docket would be collected the same day for further investigations.

The university remains open, but security has been heightened. TUT has not released an official statement yet.

The Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (Daso) said it was deeply concerned about the outbreak of the Thursday night violence.

The campus violence follows allegations of alleged voting irregularities in the outcome of the recent SRC election.

“We condemn this use of force. It is paramount that law enforcement and private security act with restraint in volatile environments,” the student body said.

Videos posted on social media show some students throwing chairs at others and gunshots can be heard.

Another video shows what has been reported as ballot papers burning.

The parties competing in the elections were the South African Students Congress, Economic Freedom Fighters Students’ Command, ANC Youth League, Daso and the Students’ Christian Organisation.

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