South Africa: Private Security Companies to be Summoned to Parliament Following Death of DUT Student

press release

The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training has condemned the death of a student at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Tuesday.

The committee sends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, the university community and those who witnessed the incident. The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Connie September, said it is a tragedy to lose a student in this way and that the use of force to control protesting students must stop.

“The committee calls for a thorough investigation into the cause of the death of the student, especially the use of live ammunition and who gave the order to shoot. The private security regulatory body should also investigate improved methods of controlling students when they protest on campuses.”

The committee will confer with the Portfolio Committee on Police to investigate security companies’ capacity to control crowds and to determine if these companies overstep their mandate, in relation to the powers and responsibilities of the police.

Ms September said the committee will ask private security companies to appear before Parliament to account for their actions. “The committee calls upon university councils, the Department of Higher Education and Training and all student bodies to seek solutions in a manner that will allow a peaceful settlement. University campuses cannot become war zones in this new democracy and the committee welcomes initiatives to engage students to find solutions.”

“Institutions must do what they can in the present to ensure a smoother registration and new year.”

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING, MS CONNIE SEPTEMBER

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