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Students claim they were shot at after demanding their certificates at KSD TVET

By Afikile Lugunya - Mar 1, 2018
Students claim they were shot at after demanding their certificates at KSD TVET

Two students are alleged to have been shot and wounded during a student protest at the King Sabatha Dalindyebo (KSD) Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college's Mthatha campus.

According to the students, they decided to boycott classes and embark on a protest after their meeting with the college's management for the release of their certificates - some outstanding since 2012, failed to yield results.

The KSD TVET's interim SRC President, Mandilakhe Ngwenya, said that the students got angry after management told them to go and collect their certificates in Pretoria because the institution does not print the certificates.

“We then decided that our Management should call the Department [of Higher Education] so that they can come and explain all these things because they say it is not their fault. The Deputy Principal of the College, Mr Mgetyana, and Exam Manager, Mr Siwundla, agreed that they will come back with representatives from the department,” he added.

Ngwenya further said that they gave the management four working days to come up with a solution before they would embark on a protest and boycott classes - as the students felt ‘fooled’.

“We sang struggle songs, and then the security company that is operating at our campus [name withheld] shot us with rubber bullets.

"We were also fought back and threw stones at them. They then decided to shoot at us with live bullets and two students were extremely injured,” Ngwenya described.

He said that they collected the empty bullet casings as evidence.

The students claim that two of their colleagues, one of them a Human Resource Management student, Mthetheleli Mgoduswa, had to be rushed to hospital after his knee was injured by a bullet.

“I was running away, but they carried on shooting at us and we all thought that they were using rubber bullets. One bullet shot me, suddenly I felt heat on my leg and that’s when I realised that I was shot,” Mgoduswa described to RNEWS.

He said that he was taken to hospital where he was told that they don’t operate on broken bones following scan that showed that his knee-bone had been fractured.

The doctors then referred him to the Backford Hospital where he underwent an operation on Monday.

Despite his injury, Mgoduswa said that he does not regret having been part of the protest.

According to the students, besides their grievance over the certificate backlog, they were also unhappy about how the institution handles the practical training system.

Speaking to RNEWS, Nomgcobo Matiwane, said that her life has completely stopped as she has been waiting for her Public Relations certificate, which she was supposed to receive in 2013.

Matiwane, who now resides in Gauteng, added that she wanted to further her studies, but it’s impossible to enrol at any college since she still doesn’t have her certificate.

Apparently, at the institution, students are expected to complete 18 months in the classroom and another 18 months doing practical training. However, the students alleged that the KSD TVET doesn’t assist students in finding placements.

Still, when they do, and after completing their practicals, they are sometimes told that they went to unacceptable companies and are forced to start over.

Amanda Nojoko told RNEWS that in 2013, she was supposed to get her certificate after completing her Marketing in-service training at the Department of Social Development.

“After completing my in-service training, I was informed that I did it in a wrong place and I must find the right one. Bear in mind they don’t even tell you which is a right place or even find a place for anyone.

“In 2013, I was supposed to get my diploma so that I would further my studies at another institution and find a job, right now I am unemployed and uneducated after attending college for three years,” she described.

KSD TVET Spokesperson Mr Kahla, was not available for comment.

The students said that they were still to report the shooting of the student to the police.

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