Arrested Tuks students were targeted – Madonsela's daughter

2016-02-23 07:34
Wenzile Madonsela (Facebook)

Wenzile Madonsela (Facebook)

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Public Protector's daughter injured in university language protest

2016-02-22 15:38

Wenzile Madonsela, an outspoken Economic Freedom Fighters student leader on the main campus, said the verbal attacks on her and her fellow protesters were of an extreme racist nature.WATCH

Pretoria – Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's daughter, Wenzile Madonsela, claims University of Pretoria students who were arrested last week were targeted by the university.

“There was a list that was circulated of students who they [university] wanted [them] to be arrested. Those arrests were not by chance,” Madonsela, who is the Economic Freedom Fighters' general secretary at the institution, told News24.

“They thought momentum would be gone with the arrests.”

At least 27 people were arrested last week on Friday for public violence and appeared in court on Monday. Charges against three of them were dropped, leaving 24 students to stand trial.

Arrests off campus

University spokesperson, Anna-Retha Bouwer, said the institution had nothing to do with who was arrested on the day. She added that they could not intervene or assist in paying bail as the arrests took place outside the university's premises.

“The arrests happened off campus and the police made the arrests. The university could not intervene by saying arrest this one and let this one go,” she said.

Madonsela accused the university of failing to assist the students. She said the move to target and isolate student leaders was adding fuel to an already raging fire at the university.

“They are just agitating and aggravating the students even more. The passive aggression is now gone, there is raw anger where students are tired of being victimised, tired of being second class citizens, tired of the divisions and Afrikaans classes and constantly being undermined by the university.

Institutional racism

“They are tired of institutional racism, they are tired of being black before [being] students and the university doesn’t care, but we will make them care whether it’s through legal recourse or protest. I won’t go for anarchy because I’m not an anarchist but it's time,” she said.

Students at the university have been protesting over language policy. The protests have resulted in the closure of the institution, including on Monday.

Bouwer said due to the disruptions, academic activities on the Hatfield campus, lectures and tests that were scheduled were temporarily postponed on Monday.

Madonsela called on the university to withdraw the charges against the students.

“Until the charges are dropped, we will continue to agitate and frustrate [the] campus," she said.

"Yes we are losing academic time but [with our fight] ours is [to say] academics first. [Our fight] is not to take time from the students but to promote equality on campus. The same kind of environment, the same rights that any other student has."

Read more on:    university of pretoria  |  pretoria  |  university fees  |  protests

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