'I have received death threats' – Jonathan Jansen

2016-02-24 07:01
Prof Jonathan Jansen addressing the media. (Mark Steenbok, Supplied to News24)

Prof Jonathan Jansen addressing the media. (Mark Steenbok, Supplied to News24)

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Bloemfontein – University of the Free State vice chancellor, Professor Jonathan Jansen, said on Tuesday that he has received death threats, and was also accused of putting the interests of certain racial groups first. 

"I have been accused of putting black student's interests above the white students, and I am also accused of putting white student's interests above blacks. It is all lies, and I think it is the kind of thing people say to unsettle you," he told News24. 

Earlier on Tuesday, SRC president, Lindokuhle Ntuli, told News24 that Jansen sat at the Shimla Park Stadium in Bloemfontein on Monday night and watched as a group of protesters were beaten. 

A Varsity Cup match between the UFS and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) was disrupted when protesters and students swarmed onto the field and took each other on in a massive brawl. 

The protesters refused to leave the field and then clashed with fans before the police and university security defused the situation.

Protesters want to be heard

According to Ntuli, they went to disrupt the game in order to be heard.

“We won’t stop until we are heard. Last night we were not armed and we did not go there to fight, but white parents and their children came in numbers and beat us, and to make matters worse, our vice chancellor sat there and watched his favourite white people beat us up,” he said. 

However Jansen said he couldn't have done anything. "We just stood there and stared at each other, I have never in my life felt so terrified," said Jansen. 

Meanwhile, Ntuli said a number of workers who were beaten were taken to hospital for medical attention. 

Bongani Mazula, one of the protesters who was beaten up, said he had a bruised arm and swollen eye. "There were 50 people who were on top of me yesterday and our motive was not to fight,” he said. 

Play resumed at 19:40, roughly an hour after the match was interrupted, with Shimlas going on to win 46-19.

Read more on:    ufs  |  jonathan jansen  |  bloemfontein  |  education  |  racism  |  university protests

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