Memorial service for slain TUT student disrupted by unruly students
Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) students heckled their vice-chancellor on Thursday‚ demanding that he answer their demands after he delivered a tribute speech at slain student Andries Katlego Monareng's memorial service.
Monareng‚ 26‚ a third level LLB student from Limpopo‚ and a member of PAC student organisation Pasma‚ was shot dead last week - allegedly by police - following unrest which erupted following disputed SRC elections.
As Professor Lourens van Staden finished his tribute‚ a student took to the podium and demanded that the vice-chancellor give them "answers".
"We will not allow any speaker to proceed until we get answers‚" said the unidentified student.
Another student‚ clad in a Pasma T-shirt‚ called for calm and asked the students to arrange a day to deal with the issues they wanted management to address.
"This is a memorial service. Let's respect the family. This is not a platform to grandstand‚" the student said.
Earlier‚ Van Staden was seen getting up as if to leave‚ but students prevented him from doing so.
The Master of Ceremonies later informed the students that Van Staden was not in fact leaving‚ but had been asked to do an interview.
The memorial service had already turned into a platform for the students to lash out at university management.
Instead of speaking about the slain Monareng‚ students who took the podium spent most of their time lambasting management at the institution.
"Soshanguve [campus] is neglected. When we have issues and want to be heard‚ we must shut down the campus. We are tired because some of us are slow learners and each time we shut down the campus‚ our studies are interrupted‚" said Katlego Makyobola‚ president of the student representative council (SRC).
He accused management of not attending to their concerns because of infighting.
"We know that there are factions within management. Instead of concentrating on issues that are affecting us‚ you are busy with your factions‚" Makyobola said.
He said Van Staden should fulfil the promises he had made early this year.
Van Staden‚ who was booed as he addressed the students‚ said the institution was "extremely saddened" by Monareng's death.
"His passing has robbed the world of the potential he had.”
He said the institution condemned violence.
"What transpired can never be condoned. We plan to get to the bottom of what happened‚” he said.