Durban University of Technology (DUT) vice-chancellor, Professor Thandwa Mthembu, was booed off stage on Tuesday at the memorial service of slain student Mlungisi Madonsela.
Mthembu was the final speaker at the event, which was held at the university. Well over 1 000 students turned up to show their support to the former student’s family.
A group of students who blamed the university and Mthembu for Madonsela’s death, walked to the front of the stage at the Ritson Campus Hall where they held up placards.
After a brief period on stage, security personnel and police stationed outside the campus whisked Mthembu away.
‘He cut his holiday short’
Speaking before Mthembu, Madonsela’s uncle Xolani Ncanana said the 20-year-old dedicated his time to the EFF.
“He was humble and cared about others’ well-being. He cut his holiday short so he could come stand with his fellow students. Little did we know it would be the last time we saw him at home.”
He said he was helpful to the community and that the family was still in shock.
“We are confused and heartbroken because we don’t really know what happened. There are so many stories.”
His eyes welling up, Ncanana described Madonsela as a young leader.
“He always said he worked for the EFF and he died in his EFF shirt.”
Rejecting security company’s help
He appealed to law enforcement agencies to “play your part until justice is done”.
“I also challenge management (DUT) to ensure there is justice. He must be the first and last to die in an incident of this nature.”
He said Excellent Security Services, the company which employs the security officials who allegedly shot and killed Madonsela, had tried to assist the family.
“We told them to take what they want to give us and give it to their bosses, the university. Nothing anyone can give us will bring him back.”
He also called for witnesses from the day to “avail yourself until justice is done”.
“We need you now. We have also heard that students were arrested, yet the ones who shot Mlungisi were not. We appeal to police to investigate properly.”
DUT too lenient on security company
KwaZulu-Natal EFF chairperson Vusi Khoza also spoke and claimed that government and the ANC lied when they promised South Africa free education.
“There is no free education. If there was, he would be alive and at school.”
He also accused DUT of being too lenient on the security company.
“DUT must not to tell us about their investigations. They know who the killers are and who the security company is. If they took black children’s lives seriously, the security company would be out of here by now.”
EFF MP Marshall Dlamini – who is the subject of a viral video in which he can be seen apparently slapping a police official in Parliament – called on students to stand up and fight.
“No one is going to dictate how we are going to do our revolution. Those we trusted lied and sold us.”
He said that white people used to shoot black people but that now, “we are dying in the hands of our own people and government”.
“We are following the footsteps of our heroes. They continue to kill us, but we don’t care. We are going to find you one by one.”