Two students have laid charges against a Wits security official for assault.

A Wits University campus protections services officer is facing assault charges after physically assaulting two students on the university premises. The incident was caught on camera by other students who posted it online, on February 23, 2021.

In the video posted by the Wits EFFSC to Youtube,  the woman security officer, (whose identity is known to Wits Vuvuzela),  is seen dragging third year BCom accounting student, Khayiya Jojwana, by her hair during a sit-in on the Wits west campus. Wits Vuvuzela has not been able to establish the exact date of the incident.

“On the day of the assault I went to press assault charges against her, and I still haven’t had any communication from the university except for the fact that my charge was received,” said Jojwana. Jojwana said the charge was laid at the Hillbrow police station, and reported to the CB24  (Central Block), where the university investigators are located.

Zomlando Biyela, third-year BEd student at Wits, who was also assaulted by the same officer, told Wits Vuvuzela how she was assaulted as she tried to stop the officer from hurting Jojwana.

“[The officer] got out of the campus control cars, she headed straight for Jojwana, and started pulling her and then she held her by her hair … she kicked her and literally put her in between her knees and started pulling her by her hands and her hair,” Biyela says.

When Biyela tried to intervene, she said she was slapped three times, pushed to the ground and kicked [by the officer]. “It’s still very depressing and painful what I experienced that day,”Biyela said.

Biyela and Jojwana say they have not received any support from the university following the incident. Biyela told Wits Vuvuzela, “[The university] didn’t give me any support until this day instead [Wits] gave her [the officer], lawyers for her representation and not me.”

It is unclear whether the officer has been suspended by the university. “The official has been charged criminally therefore the matter can’t be discussed,” said Buhle Zuma, senior communications officer at Wits University, in response to questions from Wits Vuvuzela. 

“The university condemns all forms of violence and will allow the external authorities to conduct their investigation,” said Zuma.

FEATURED IMAGE: Wits security talking to students during a sit-in on the Wits west campus. Photo: Khuleko Siwele