Protesting VUT Students May Have Incurred Damages Worth Over R1-million


An attempt to repair the destroyed infrastructure caused by rioting VUT students at the Vaal University of Technology could amount to over R1-million.

This was revealed by the Executive Chairperson of the Student Support Services Dr Segopane Seroka who also feared that not only properties but lives could be lost in the clashes between students and security personnel.

Offices and staff houses were set ablaze on Wednesday evening following a physical squabble between students and the contracted security company on campus.

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VUT students submitted a memorandum to the office of the Executive Chairperson of the Student Support Services demanding an immediate termination of Mafoko Security contract in the school after catching non-Vaal students roaming around student’s residence and several reports of theft.

The students expressed their dissatisfaction on the quality of the services rendered by the security company because of the countless reports of theft in the residence area on their watch.

Howerver, Dr Seroka said: “There’s no way we can say that Mafoko must go without finding a replacement. We cannot go without security in our campus where there’s a high level of conflict and crime because the burning of property by students and the stealing that’s going on can lead to loss of life and property.”

“We are in the process of procuring services from another company because Mafoko’s contract expired, so we are working on a month-to-month,” Dr. Seroka added.

In response to the pronouncement that the university will not terminate the contract on the spot, students started protesting and vandalizing one of the security official vehicles.

This led to the invitation of Special Task Force to disperse students using rubber bullets which the Student Representative Council Secretary General Wisani Chauke claims did not stop at the protest scene.

Chauke claimed the Special Task Force did not stop firing rubber bullets after students dispersed but followed them to their residential areas and continued shooting at students who were in their rooms.

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“Upon their arrival they were just shooting randomly and then students managed to go to their respective rooms and even when they were in their rooms, Mafoko Task Force approached each room and shot at students in their rooms shooting through the windows.”

“Most were caught by those bullets and we have a student who has lost an eye and they even shot at a student who is pregnant,” he added.

“That agitated students to the extreme core, ambulances were just entering there taking students. It was chaos, it was a massacre of some sorts.”

Chauke blamed the burning of buildings in the school on frustrations which the school authorities brought upon the VUT students.