IPID to investigate death of TUT student allegedly assaulted by police

BY: VUYO CEBEKHULU

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) is mourning the passing of a student, who allegedly succumbed injuries sustained at the hands of the members of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

TUT spokesperson Phaphama Tshisikhwawe confirmed to Student Living that Thabelo Mbau, a second year Electrical Engineering student based at eMalahleni campus in Mpumalanga, died on March 9 after the tragic incident.

PICTURE FROM FACEBOOK: Phaphama Tshisikhawe

According to reports, students were drinking alcohol outside Khayalethu residence at night when they were approached by the men and women in blue from Witbank police station.

The police and students started arguing, and Thabelo was later brutally beaten by the police.

Following the brutal beating, Thabelo was then rushed to hospital to get medical treatment, however, he later died.

Meanwhile, Tshisikhawe said that the university is still waiting for an official report from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to ascertain the full details regarding the death of Thabelo.

“We thank the IPID for their cooperation with the university,” she told Student Living.

In a plea for privacy and respect for the family’s mourning process, Tshisikhawe urged the public and the media to refrain from undue interference.

“We request that the family be afforded the space and time to inform one another, to digest their great loss, and to honour the memory of the deceased with dignity,” she said.

In addition, Tshisikhawe expressed her heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased student, underscoring the profound grief of the loss within the TUT community.

Meanwhile, the Umkhonto Wesizwe Student Movement (MWST) national coordinator, Thami Khuzwayo, said that they stand in solidarity with the TUT student community and demands justice for the deceased student – Thabelo Mbau.

Khuzwayo also shared that the loss of a young life under such circumstances is unacceptable and deeply troubling.

“No student should ever fear for their safety at the hands of the law enforcement officers who are meant to protect and serve the community,” he said.

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