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Parliament cautions universities on police deployment during protests

In a statement, the committee welcomes the expedited forensic investigation into the killing of a Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) student.

A security guard in riot gear watches a residence at the Tshwane University of Technology's Shoshanguve campus. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training has cautioned university management to avoid calling in the police in situations until other avenues have been exhausted.

In a statement, the committee welcomes the expedited forensic investigation into the killing of a Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) student.

A student was killed at TUT, following a collapsed election for the student representative council, where police were called in. TUT says it has launched its own investigation into the SRC elections held on Thursday, which led to violence.

Chairperson Connie September says: “We’ll be asking the Portfolio Committee on Police to do an investigation to find out what happened. We’re saddened about the fact that a democratic process has turned into the death of a young person.”

She adds: “Police should at all times practise restraint and caution at campuses when it comes to confrontation with students.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)