Students demand security

STUDENT leadership at the University of Zululand has called on the authorities to ensure that students are given priority when it comes to safety on campus.

Students had been complaining of being victims of crime while the authorities turned a blind eye.

Last week students stoned Thabani Masondo, 28, to death after he entered the campus and allegedly stole their cellphones and laptops.

Frustrated students told Sowetan that they were now sick and tired of criminals targeting them for robbery.

South African Students Council branch chairperson Xolani Memela said students are exposed to crime while authorities fail to beef up security.

He said the security guards employed at the institution were inactive.

"We do not even know why the turnstile gates had been deactivated at students' residences," he said.

Memela said they did not condone students taking the law into their own hands.

"Students are frustrated because their belongings are being stolen. They acted out of frustration and stoned the man to death."

University spokesperson Dante Mashile said the institution was not fenced in because the land belongs to a tribal authority.

"We had no reason to fence in the surroundings of the university without consulting the tribal authority.

"We do stop and search, raid residences and deploy officers at different points on campus. We work very closely with the police to deal with the issue of crime.

"It should be noted that the area around the university has been hit by crime and the university should not be seen in isolation," he said.

Mashile said they had instituted extra measures at the residences but declined to give details.

"The normal industry norm is for every 100 students there should at least be one security officer, and this is the target we are working on."