‘Non-black students forced to strike at Medunsa’

2014-08-27 18:24

Students who refused to boycott classes at Medunsa in Ga-Rankuwa have received death threats, says AfriForum Youth.

“Innocent students get death threats on social media, in SMSes and on campus,” said AfriForum Youth spokesperson Henk Maree today.

He said racist remarks were directed at “non-black” students who did not want to participate in the boycott.

“I was under the impression that the strike was over but I have been receiving complaints of death threats from students.”

AfriForum Youth had written to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and the SA Human Rights Commission calling for their help.

“AfriForum Youth demands a probe, action, as well as the implementation of a plan to ensure the safety of students at Medunsa.”

The university was not immediately available for comment.

The institution was closed on August 6 after students had been boycotting lectures for about two weeks. They demanded the removal of certain lecturers alleged to be failing students. The students were also believed to be unhappy about renaming the campus Sefako Makgatho.

A car and the university’s main gate were reportedly set alight.

Management said the decision to close the campus was informed by the stubborn behaviour of both the student representative council and the student body.

It was re-opened the following day after university management and student representatives reached an agreement, ending the boycott.

“The president of the SRC agreed to write and distribute a communiqué indicating that students would cease protests, stop vandalising the school’s property and stop harassing our staff members,” said university spokesperson Kgalema Mohuba at the time.

On Monday, five students appeared in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court. They were arrested on Saturday and charged with malicious damage to property.

Beeld named them as SRC president Malose Marakalala, Tshepo Lerumo, King Maswanganyi, Sydney Magagula, and Mluleki Maphumulo.

They were granted free bail and would appear in court again on September 23, said Captain Rheineth Motlana.

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