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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chaos as TUT Students & Guards Get Into Physical Fight

Anorth Mabunda, Sthembiso Sithole & Lindokuhle Mnisi
@AnorthMabunda, @sitholesthe &LindokuhleMnisi

The Soshanguve North campus of the Tshwane University of Technology is under police watch after students clashed with the security officers on Monday night. Chaos broke out when an officer working for security services provider, Triotic, allegedly assaulted a student who was drunk for not producing a student card at the gate. 
After the slapping of the student other students then attacked the estimated 30 security officers
“The student was drunk and didn’t have a student card. The officers then refused to let him entry to the university premises. The students tried to enter forcefully, prompting the officers to slap and throttle him until he falls down,” said a student who was at the and did not want to be identified. 

The students then went on a rampage vandalising two Triotic control rooms, smashing doors, light bulbs and windows with heavy stones and bricks. They also broke the boom gate at the entrance and forced their way into the control room, stealing radio batteries to block communication lines between security officers. Most guards then fled the campus.

One officer trapped inside was allegedly assaulted by the students.

Fearing they will be victimised as well; officers guarding the dormitories and other buildings inside the campus changed their black, white and orange uniforms so that the angry students wouldn’t identify them.

Two police Nyalas with heavily armed policemen were deployed at the scene. The Public Order Police drove inside the campus with their nyalas to rescue about five officers who were still hiding inside the residences. The armoured vehicles were hurled with stones by a mob of students, forcing the law enforcers to fire rubber bullets to scary the students.
One student was shot by the police in the hand and bled profusely. He was treated at the scene and later rushed to the hospital by ER24 paramedics. The paramedics didn’t respond to TUT Life’s questions.
Out-going campus president Ngwato Maila told the students that “no one will be harassed by anybody.”
“We are not going to be intimidated by anything. Let us listen to what the police are telling us. For those who want to sleep they should. We are not going to leave this case without solving it. Early in the morning will deal with the matter (sic).”

Triotic Site Manager, Mr. Jeffery Mandanda said, “no comment for the media” when asked about the riots. He told his staff that they should report to work tomorrow (Tuesday). Mandanda only mentioned that the cost of repairing the damage is approximately R20 000. Windows, doors, boom gates and other goods were missing. “Currently there won’t be any arrests because no one wants to come forwarded with the information about the suspects who damaged the premises,” said Captain Sello Mohale of the Public Order Policing in Pretoria.
A student who didn’t want to be identified because she is well-known in the campus and fears to be victimised said, “These students are ill-mannered and lack discipline. We need these security officers. We should all respect the security officers and treat them as our parents.
It is a known fact that any student entering the premises must produce the student card. The officers were acted lawfully by prohibiting the student from entering the campus because he did not have a student card,” she said.

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