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Wits opens criminal case into Great Hall standoff

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Ayanda Mgede
October03/ 2016

The university has confirmed opening criminal charges, following the stone-hurling incident that happened between private security and students on 20 September, 2016

Wits university has opened a criminal case after property was damaged during a stone-hurling incident between Diligence Security Services and students at the Great Hall steps last week.
Campus Control director, Mokgawa Kobe, said the investigation was not only looking at security officers but students as well. He confirmed that the criminal case was opened to hold anyone found breaking the law or university regulations accountable.
“There were certain individuals from both the students and the security who acted inappropriately,” said Kobe. “The police charges are not directed at any individuals but the incident in its entirety,” he said.
Kobe could not confirm how many individuals had been identified thus far but Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said the university had identified three individuals using video footage, and that private security had been decreased on campus since the incident.
Kobe said he thought that using the footage was an efficient way of identifying the individuals from the security services, saying that it was a “critical investigation tool amongst others”.
Wits Vuvuzela spoke to the regional security manager from Diligence Security Services, Dan Ntshanana, who said that all their officials were trained in how to react in various situations and protests were one of them. Ntshanana said for this reason they expect all their staff to obey the law at all times.
“That’s why they wear their shields because they are not supposed to retaliate and they know this,” he said.
Kobe said the university does not have a fixed contract with Diligence Security Services but a service level one which has not been terminated. He added that the nature of the investigation would not allow him to say when it will be concluded.
“Over and above the investigations, we have debriefed the incident with the company and we are optimistic that the event of 20 September, 2016 will not repeat itself,” he said.

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Ayanda Mgede