The capital city came to a standstill today when thousands of Tshwane University of Technology students marched to Police Minister Bheki Cele’s office, demanding answers for the killing of a student.
Singing and chanting from Church Square to police headquarters in the central business district, they called for justice for student Katlego Monareng, who was shot by a police officer at a protest last week.
Monareng died on his way to hospital.
He was shot when violence broke out over student representative council election results.
TUT spokesperson Willa De Ruyter said the institution would assist the family with funeral arrangements.
Today, large numbers of students burned tyres, boxes and rubbish outside police headquarters, demanding Cele give them the name of the officer who fired the fatal shot.
TUT Soshanguve’s Pan-Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) leader Sthembiso Mncube said the students wanted justice to be done and for police to be held accountable for the death.
“We want the name of the police officer who shot Katlego and we want them to speed up the investigation.
“We demand a competent investigation and not an investigator with no experience.”
One of the protest leaders, Gift Mabuza of Pasma, said: “There will not be any schooling at TUT until the man [who shot Monareng] is brought to justice. By the way, we have the capacity to make the whole Pretoria ungovernable.”
Mabuza insisted that scores of students witnessed the shooting of Monareng at the Soshanguve campus, north of Pretoria.
“We did not read about this shooting on WhatsApp, we did not see it on Facebook … we were there physically. We witnessed it. We have told the investigating officers from Ipid [Independent Police Investigate Directorate] that we are available for any enquiry. We are willing to assist, we were there when one of our own was shot by police,” said Mabuza.
“The police were shooting with their R5 rifles in front of the main gate.”
Numerous shops were closed in the Pretoria inner city, with reports of looting at some fast food outlets.
Cele, however, was in parliament. His deputy, Bongani Mkongi, received the memorandum.
He said Cele was attending a Cabinet committee meeting and a portfolio committee meeting on domestic violence in institutions of higher learning. But he vowed the police service would take action, saying he was shocked live ammunition had been used at a student protest.
“We have been raising that we don’t want dogs and live ammunition in these institutions,” the deputy minister said.
“The station commander has been held to account. I had a meeting with him yesterday.
“We don’t know why police go to these institutions with the very weapons we are saying they should not be carrying.”
Mkongi said he was expecting a written report from the station commander to do a comparative analysis with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s report.
Classes were suspended on all campuses for the rest of the week to pay last respects to Monareng.
– Additional reporting by ANA