Seven security guards have been injured and taken to hospital as violence broke out during the ongoing #OutsourcingMustFall protests at the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Pretoria West on Tuesday morning.
Netcare 911 spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said the guards were treated before being taken to a nearby hospital, Rekord East reported.
TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said the scuffle broke out at the entrance to the university where protesters were standing.
“Some were injured and taken to hospital. It is not clear what happened there,” she said.
#OutsourcingMustFall leader Vusi Mahlangu accused a security company of inciting the violence after workers refused to resume work.
“One of the service providers, a security company, sent its criminals to attack workers. We have opened a case and we hope police will work with speed to arrest them,” he said.
Mahlangu said the protest was workers’ response to victimisation by their TUT and Unisa employers.
Workers who took part in the ongoing protest last month were dismissed and given warning notices despite an agreement signed at the conclusion of the protest in which university management undertook not to victimise workers who were involved in the #OutsourcingMustFall protest.
“There was an anti-victimisation clause, meaning all workers who participated in the protest would not be dismissed or harassed,” Mahlangu said.
“A few weeks later, workers received warning letters, some have been dismissed and others are verbally assaulted [abused] daily.”
He said when the employers failed to respond to questions on why they were disregarding the agreement, workers had no option but to protest.
Unisa’s Muckleneuk campus was closed on Tuesday morning.
“We successfully closed down all operations at Unisa. There is a heavy police presence and it [the protest] is peaceful,” said Mahlangu.
Police were keeping an eye on the TUT campus, which remained open to academic activity.
Police spokesperson Louise Reed-Steynberg said investigations were under way into the events that led to the violence.
“No arrests have been made yet. The public policing unit is on guard,” added Reed-Steynberg.
Also Read: TUT protests over financial aid continue
– Caxton News Service