Johannesburg – The EFF in Gauteng said on Tuesday that it was willing to go to war with the University of Pretoria (UP).
The party accused the university of victimising and isolating its EFF Student Command, saying some of their student members have been unfairly suspended and expelled.
"We don’t have patience any more, nobody has patience... we are not going to accept it. We are ready. If needs be will go to war," provincial leader Mandisa Mashego told reporters in Johannesburg.
"[UP] must decide what they want. We want those suspensions to immediately cease and we want those bouncers to immediately withdraw. If they apply any more delaying tactics we will mobilise."
UP vice chancellor Professor Cheryl De la Rey told News24 last week that university will adopt a zero tolerance to violence and crime.
“Given what happened, we have taken additional security measures and we have taken time to work with the South African Police Service and we are saying enough is enough,” she said.
“We commit to peaceful engagements but we cannot have disruptions to the academic programme. We cannot have intimidations, we cannot have threats levelled to students, staff and anyone else who want to be part of this.”
Mashego said on Tuesday that the party could mobilise thousands of its members.
"UP must immediately cease the usage of private security or we will open a case against them. We are on the ground. If we need to bring 5 000 people by Friday, trust me, I am not making a wild claim, by Friday we will get 5 000 at that university.
"They will walk to Tshwane if needs be... If we need 50 000 [members] we can get it," she said.
Mashego was reacting to the reported arrest of five EFF students during violent protest at the institution. The EFF are blaming the private security company employed by UP for the alleged assault of students.
Students at the university had been protesting over its language policy for the past two weeks.
27 people were arrested for public violence and they appeared in court last week.
Charges against three of them were dropped, leaving 24 students to stand trial. Their case was postponed to April 7.
The university was closed for a week due to the protests.