Two very different versions of the events at Vaal University of Technology

VUT administration have suspended academic activities and ordered students to vacate residences, following protests and burning of buildings.

But Nikiwe Bikitshwa, standing in for John Robbie, interviewed suspended SRC President Troy Mathebula and Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Segopane Seroka about the events. They gave two very different versions of events - and who was responsible.

suspended SRC President Troy Mathebula says with democratically elected student leadership suspended, there is no guidance for students on campus.

We have about 48 students who had to sleep in a hall with no blankets, nothing. They were refused to go in and take their stuff.

suspended SRC President Troy Mathebula

There has never been a violent protest.

suspended SRC President Troy Mathebula

Mathebula insists it was security guards who came to students gathering peacefully, and opened fire.

We did not burn down our institutions. it wasn't students.

suspended SRC President Troy Mathebula

But Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Segopane Seroka says Mathebula's claims are "ridiculous".

Mr Mathebula is the suspended SRC President and he doesn't have any standing in terms of representing the voice of students.

Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Segopane Seroka

There has been simmering tensions between students and security guards here.

Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Segopane Seroka

But Seroka says this has been going on for a while, and he claims students attacked security guards which then culminated in the events of two days ago.

He refutes claims by students that management have not communicated adequately. He says they responded to student demands with a memorandum, which students tore up on Wednesday.

Seroka says he did not witness yesterdays's claims of shootings, but insists there must have been a reason.

We will never instruct anyone to shoot innocent people.

Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Segopane Seroka

He claims they have video evidence of students involved in vandalism of buildings and other infrastructure.

It's students. We have video evidence.

Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Segopane Seroka

Listen to these two interviews here:


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