7 February 2019

South Africa: Security Authority to Investigate Guard Following Dut Student Death

South Africa's Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA) said in a statement on Wednesday that it would investigate the alleged involvement of a security officer in the death of a Durban University of Technology (DUT) student.

Mlungisi Madonsela, 20, was shot at DUT's Steve Biko campus on Tuesday afternoon after an altercation with private security guards contracted to the institution.

Madonsela died while receiving medical attention at City Hospital in Durban, the university said in a statement on Tuesday.

The EFF-led student representative council (SRC) said on Wednesday that Madonsela lost his life because of arrogant security and police.

SRC leader Sesethu Godlimpi hosted a press briefing a few metres from where Madonsela was shot.

Godlimpi and the EFF claim that private security at the university unfairly attacked students for merely wearing EFF regalia.

He said that leadership had been heading to a meeting with management on Tuesday when they were stopped by security.

"Students, including leadership, were prevented from going to the meeting because we were wearing EFF shirts," Godlimpi said.

He said a security manager had approached students with other guards and attacked them.

"He died a painful, but revolutionary death. We share the pain of the family. Students are being shot and killed by their own parents who are security guards and police. They are being killed by people who should be protecting us."

On Wednesday, DUT said it would consider severing ties with its security company if investigations reveal transgressions, News24 reported.

"With any contractual relationship, if serious violations of a contract are found and if they are at fault, we will sever our relationship. At this stage however, investigations must be completed," DUT vice-chancellor Professor Thandwa Mthembu said.

In the statement released on Wednesday, PSiRA chief executive Manabela Chauke said: "I have instructed our senior law enforcement officers to immediately probe this case. On behalf of PSiRA, I would like to convey our condolences to the bereaved family."

According to news agency ANA, PSiRA would also be investigating a prima facie case against African Global Operations (formerly known as Bosasa), which was registered with PSiRA on December 6, 1998. "The investigation is related to the contravention of the private security industry's code of conduct," said Chauke.

"We view the allegations playing out in the public domain in a very serious light and we are working around the clock with other law enforcement agencies to ensure a swift conclusion of this matter," Chauke said.


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