Public violence case against DUT students provisionally withdrawn

07 February 2019 - 13:20 By Suthentira Govender and Lwandile Bhengu
Economic Freedom Fighters' Student Command members march outside the Durban University of Technology on Wednesday after student Mlungisi Madonsela died after being shot on Tuesday.
Economic Freedom Fighters' Student Command members march outside the Durban University of Technology on Wednesday after student Mlungisi Madonsela died after being shot on Tuesday.
Image: JACKIE CLAUSEN

A case of public violence against four Durban University of Technology (DUT) students has been temporarily struck off the court roll by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The case was opened against the students, believed to be members of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Student Command, following unrest at the campus on Tuesday.

Tensions at the beleaguered institution have been running high after final-year student Mlungisi Madonsela, 20, died on Tuesday fighting for free education.

He was allegedly shot during a scuffle with security personnel at the Steve Biko campus.

One of the issues Madonsela was protesting about related to student safety and insourced security at the university.

Two security guards were questioned by the police until the early hours of Wednesday after Madonsela was shot in the scuffle between security personnel and members of the EFF Student Command.

Provincial police spokesman Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed on Thursday that the case had been struck off the roll “pending further investigations”.

She said Madonsela’s killing and the public violence matter would be investigated by the provincial headquarters’ organised crime unit.

Zamani Ncama, a lawyer who represented the students in court, told TimesLIVE: “The charges were dropped and the case was struck off the roll due to insufficient evidence.”

Meanwhile, EFF provincial chair Vusi Khoza, who visited the troubled Steve Biko campus on Wednesday, said the party was “relieved” that the killing would be handled at provincial level.

Khoza claimed it was at the EFF’s insistence that the matter was moved from the Berea police station.

“We expressed our wish that it [the investigation] be moved from Berea because we know that security companies work closely with the nearest police station...”

Khoza also appealed to students who had witnessed the shooting to come forward.

“We have been warned that our case is going to be weak, so we need to find individuals who are willing to testify...” Khoza added.


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