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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

WATCH: TUT security slammed after student dies in stampede

Social media users blamed the heavy-handedness of the university's security for Carol Mabunda's death.

The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) has asked the public and media to “exercise restraint and sensitivity” towards the family of a student who died in a stampede on its premises.

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However, #Justice4CarolMabunda has been trending on X, formerly Twitter, as many South African users posted scathing criticism of how the university has handled the situation.

Watch the stampede unfold below (viewer discretion is advised):

TUT student trampled in the mud

Carol Mabunda, a second-year National Diploma: Contact Management student at the Pretoria campus died during a stampede at the Fresher’s Bash on 10 May.

While the circumstances have not been formally confirmed, social media users allege at some point security officers where “hitting” and “shooting water” at students, causing them to slip in mud.

It is alleged the university only opened one entrance for the event, causing the students, many of whom were intoxicated, to be overcrowded.

In response, TUT said it was “saddened by the untimely passing” of Mabunda.

“While we await an official report from the South African Police Services (Saps), the University is providing the student’s family and friends with as much support as we can at this difficult time,” a statement from the university read on 14 May, four days after the incident.

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“The family should be afforded the space and the time to process their great loss, and to honour the memory of the deceased with dignity. 

“We call upon the public, including the media, to exercise restraint and sensitivity towards the family at this time of grief.”

‘Dehumanising the Tonga tribe’

The A Hi Tivaneni Magaza Society Group said Mabunda was one of its members, and criticised the university for not formally communicating her death sooner.

“The Tsonga tribe and its people remain the most undermined and belittled tribe in the country,” the group said.

“We feel this [lack of action] by the university is part of tribal ploys to continue with the disrespect and dehumanisation of the Tsonga tribe. Equally we refuse to be a subject of the university’s and organisers’ negligence and ignorance. Matsonga’s lives matter.”

The group demanded a formal report from the university, including one from “responsible security personnel”.

A Hi Tivaneni Magaza Society said it will organise a candle lighting for Mabunda in due course.