Durban – Student Mlungisi Madonsela, who was shot and killed outside the Durban University of Technology’s Steve Biko campus on Tuesday, died “a painful but revolutionary death,” the Economic Freedom Fighters’ DUT student leader has said.
EFF student command (EFFSC) and SRC leader at DUT, Sesiyande Godlimpi, told media on Wednesday that Madonsela was “a fighter who died for a noble cause – to achieve free, decolonised education in our lifetime”.
Other EFFSC SRC members joined Godlimpi as they conducted a press conference on a sidewalk just outside the campus, metres away from where Madonsela was shot. The institution has been closed until further notice since the shooting.
“He died a very painful death yet a revolutionary death. He died in the line of duty of the revolution,” said Godlimpi.
He sent condolences to the 20-year-old’s family and said EFF students shared in the Madonsela family’s pain “in spirit, emotionally, physically and otherwise”.
“Students are being arrested, shot and killed by their own parents who are security guards and police. We are being killed by people who are supposed to be protecting us instead of killing us. We are being killed by people who cannot afford this education we want,” said Godlimpi.
Madonsela was killed following an alleged scuffle with private security guards on Tuesday afternoon.
According to police, about 30 students armed with rocks and bricks tried to enter the campus through an administration building. This is when the shooting allegedly took place. It remains unclear who shot Madonsela, but it is the subject of a police investigation.
A security guard and female administration assistant were injured during the fracas and were hospitalised.
Madonsela’s death took place during heightened tensions around campuses in KwaZulu-Natal following a call for a “total shutdown” at provincial tertiary education institutions.
Relaying his version of events prior to the shooting, Godlimpi said the SRC on Monday sent a memorandum to university management that demanded “unblocking” the institution’s “accommodation crisis” and insourcing of security guards and cleaners.
“The SRC was called into a meeting [on Tuesday] to address the issues in the memorandum. We were hoping to have fruitful and healthy discussions with the executive. However, the executive decided not to engage on the issues raised [and rather] intimidated and threatened us with expulsions.
“The entire meeting was [about nothing besides] how we are going to be dealt with systematically and otherwise. The students wearing EFF T-shirts were not allowed to enter the campus, including some of the SRC members.
“While members of the EFFSC were standing [outside the campus] singing and waiting for a response, the security guards came with their managers who were carrying guns. They just used the pepper spray without any reasons. EFF members responded with stones to open space, and then security guards started to use their guns.
“EFFSC members and others managed to run away and [Madonsela] was gunned down. After the killing, the security started to use their rubber bullets [and students responded with stones] and as a result one of the staff members was badly injured by a stone.
“The security guards came to hospital to arrest more students. As a result, no one was able to communicate with the doctors because we had to run away. Students were arrested in hospital. The hospital cameras will serve as evidence. The hospital could not assist as no one was going to sign the bill, as a result, my brother passed away,” said Godlimpi.
African News Agency/ANA