/ 30 August 2018

Students frustrated despite TUT investigation into student shooting

At a march this week student leader Sthembiso KaShandu said university staff
At a march this week student leader Sthembiso KaShandu said university staff, trade unions and NGOs have been asked to pledge solidarity with students (Renata Larroyd)

University management has promised to “leave no stone unturned” in investigating the death of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) law student Katlego Monareng. But at Monareng’s memorial on Thursday, students said they felt they had been left in the dark.

Thursday marked a week since Monareng was killed. Monareng was allegedly shot by a police officer following a protest against a perceived “rigged” student representative council (SRC) election outside Soshanguve north campus.

TUT and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) have initiated a forensic investigation into last week Thursday’s events, but students are still no closer to the answers they desperately want.

This week, all six TUT campuses were closed as the institution mourns the death of Monareng. Flags were also flown at half-mast. 

University management has promised to investigate the matter. But students are still divided on whether the institution will deliver answers.

Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command representative Rendani Nematswerani said Monareng’s death “was caused by reckless management by TUT”.

SRC president Katlego Makyobola said: “We are here because management employed an incompetent company to run our elections. We are going to appoint our own VC.”

He added that he wanted TUT vice-chancellor Lourens van Staden to make good on his promises, one of which was to write to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme that students living outside of campus to get a living allowances. “We want to know where our living allowances are,” Makyobola said.

“No one wants to tell us what is happening but with this instance we have to avenge the soul of Katlego. We will not rest until we have answers,” said Boima Kiko of the South African Students Congress.

Kiko said as students they had given the police ministry five days to respond to their memorandum that was handed over to the deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi on Wednesday.

READ MORE: TUT Soshanguve students march to the offices of police minister

Pan Africanist Congress leader Narius Moloto was at the memorial service to share his condolences with the cadre.

“A young man with a bright future was untimely brought to an end. Monareng’s death robbed the world of the potential he offered,” said Van Staden.

“As our student parents away from home, your loss is our loss,” he continued to the jeers of students.

Van Staden said that all stakeholders are involved in the university’s investigation and Grant Thornton has been employed to investigate the SRC elections. “The investigation will be solid,” Van Staden said of the probe, promising to conclude the university’s investigation in three weeks.

Peter Makaneta, the chief financial officer of South African Human Rights Commission, has asked students to be patient. “We want to allow Ipid to complete their investigation,” he said.

“We are concerned that what we have proposed to the police has not been followed through,” added Makenta.

The family are preparing for the funeral on Saturday and could not attend Thursday’s memorial.