Students staged a walkout when Professor Thandwa Mthembu, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the Durban University of Technology tried to pay tribute to the slain DUT student Mlungisi Madonsela on Tuesday.
The walkout took place during the memorial service for the third year student that was shot last week.
The memorial was going according to plan until the Mthembu was called to the podium which caused a lot of commotion in Ritson Hall where the memorial was taking place.
The chancellor was then escorted by DUT management and police that were stationed outside the hall.
Before the disruption, friends, and members of Madonsela’s family got the opportunity to express their feelings and pay tribute to Madonsela.
One of Madonsela’s friends Zinhle Majozi could not hold back her tears when talking about her friend.
“He was like a brother to everyone at res [residence]. If you needed anything he would be there for you. He would check up on everyone,” she said tearfully.
Hundreds of students and members of the EFFSC filled the hall for Madonsela’s memorial.
SRC president at the University Sesiyanda Godlimpi spoke about his time spent with Madonsela, who he said would wake him up to go and fight for students’ rights.
He added that for Madonsela to die at the hands of security guards was a shock.
“We never expected the people in charge of protecting us to kill one of us,” said Godlimpi.
“All we wanted was free education, we are in this mess because we wanted free education,” he added.
“We can not stop now, we will get free education no matter what,” the president said to a crowd of cheering students.
Aduduzo Jali another friend of Madonsela’s cried as he described his friend as a kind and supportive friend saying all he wants now is justice for Madonsela.
Xolani Ncanana, Madonsela’s uncle said the only way to describe the ordeal would be that it all came as a shock.
“We were shocked. Some of us had been talking to him that very morning. We don’t know what happened that day there are so many different stories,” he said.
Even though the circumstances surrounding his death where still unclear to the family, the uncle confirmed that 3 bullets were found when Madonsela’s body was examined but further investigations were still underway.
“To DUT management and police officials, all I have to say is play your role and may Mlu be the first and the last to die in this nature,” said Ncanana.
The family also said Madonsela would be laid to rest this Thursday in his home in Jozini.