Lecturer, student in quarrel

2016-03-16 06:00

THE University of the Free State (UFS) is investigating an incident in which a faculty head apparently told a student he would see to it that he could not register, as the student had taken part in recent campus protests that saw a statue vandalised and pulled down.

The lecturer, Frederick Roelofse, head of the Geology Department, allegedly also vowed to resign should the student be allowed to register.

University spokesperson, Lacea Loader, said the incident was being investigated as a matter of urgency. Loader said it was hoped it would be resolved by the end of the week.

Speaking to News24, third-year Geology student Teboho Ntshaling (21) said campus security had been ordered by the department head to remove him from campus on Monday, 7 March.

“The lecturer also told me that my presence at the university was illegal,” he said.

Recorded conversation

Ntshaling said when he had gone back to the department on Tuesday, 8 March, he decided to record their conversation.

In audio provided to News24 by Ntshaling, Roelofse said: “Even if there is still space – I want to see personally that you are prosecuted for what you did last week (22-26 February). I will fight from my side to make sure that you don’t get registered, and if that doesn’t happen, then I will resign from my position as head of the department.”

Ntshaling said after he had tried to reach out to the lecturer, he had been told that he was not allowed on campus.

“I was heartbroken when he told me I only have one module to finish so that I can get my degree.

“I deserved to participate in the protest. It is my right,” he said.

On Monday 22 February, a group of protesters disrupted a Varsity Cup rugby match at the Shimla Park Stadium, which culminated in a mass brawl with spectators.

Vandalism

On Tuesday morning, 23 February, EFF protesters pulled down and vandalised a statue of C.R. Swart at the university.

Protesters burnt tyres at the foot of the statue and used hammers and rocks to bring it down.

On Thursday, 25 February, security guards were brought in to protect the statue of M.T. Steyn from further vandalism.

Ntshaling said he had been involved in all of the protests.

Attempts to contact Roelofse failed.

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