Students at the Kingsway campus of University of Johannesburg expressed their frustrations with the university management in a prayer which escalated to a protest on Thursday afternoon.

Students at the University of Johannesburg  APK campus held a protest to express their frustrations with university management on the misuse of funds. This followed a prayer held on Thursday in commemoration of a deceased student.

Fellow students believe that the death of the student, who allegedly died of an asthma attack on a malfunctioning lift last week Tuesday, could have been avoided.

“If the lift was working, the life of the student could have been saved,” said final year politics student Lindokuhle Zwane.

Smangaliso Mkhonto of the Transformation and Gender Office at UJ who  was on the scene at the time of the student’s death told Wits Vuvuzela that the lift had not been working for two weeks prior to the incident. The student had the attack on the 6th floor of Robin Crest, a UJ residence. The ambulance arrived 50 minutes later and found the student dead. The deceased student’s body has since been flown to his home in Zambia for burial.

Mkhonto said that it was not unusual that the lifts were not working and the students were now “fed up” of the poor resources allocated to them. Students are calling for the removal of private security on campus and a reallocation of those funds to the maintenance and establishment of basic resources and infrastructure on their campuses.

Mkhonto believes that the “bouncers” are on campus because of management’s fear of protest action, “the university is paranoid that we’ll protest,” he said.

SRC elections were suspended on the Kingsway campus on Thursday as a result of the demonstrations.  Elections continued to run on Friday at the IEC boxes that had been placed at police stations near the campuses.

There has been no communication from the residence regarding the fatal incident and the university is still investigating matters around the protest. Protests are expected to continue on the campus in the upcoming week.

“Students at the university are angry [and] they want to demonstrate their anger,” said Mkhonto.

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