The Economic Freedom Fighters students command at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Soshanguve has accused a security company of firing rubber bullets at students who were gathered peacefully.
“They didn’t ask questions or anything, but they rubber bulleted our students. They moered our students.”
The university has disputed the allegations. Spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said security only reacted to protect university property.
Nzimande said the attack happened on Monday night and that the security guards had followed them to their rooms where they allegedly continued to assault students.
“Our students ran to their residences, but security followed and switched off the mains switch to make it very dark. Then they continued moering us,” he said.
Nzimande said students were angry.
De Ruyter confirmed that rubber bullets were used against “protesters”.
“A group of protesters who tried to set fire to TUT property were dispersed by SAPS and security using rubber bullets. The protest last night turned violent with protesters trying to burn down the library and breaking down fences,” she said.
De Ruyter insisted that students were not kicked out of residences.
“This is not an eviction. Students have been requested to leave residences by 14:00 today. The university is monitoring the situation and numbers of students have voluntarily left residences since last night,” she said.
Nzimande said there was no truth to the claims made by De Ruyter.
“We said that this year we will have a peaceful protest and that is what we have delivered. In the history of TUT, there has never been a protest where not even a single paper was burnt or glass broken,” he said.
“We are questioning the capacity of the vice chancellor when he says we must vacate. On what grounds? On what basis? We have never been violent.”
Nzimande added that they would not have been in the current position had management agreed to meet with them.
And this protest ha led to the close down of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Soshanguve campuses.
“Creating an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning is of critical importance to the university. In order to stabilise these campuses, a decision was taken today to close these campuses with immediate effect,” spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said in a statement.
“Activities at all other TUT campuses will continue as normal.”