SAHRC probing UFS rugby brawl

2016-02-23 15:59
(Screengrab, Chipsta, <a href="https://youtu.be/VgxZQE1TgK8">YouTube</a>)

(Screengrab, Chipsta, YouTube)

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Cape Town – The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will investigate a massive brawl that broke out at a Varsity Cup match in Bloemfontein, officials said on Tuesday.

“It is worrying. I think everybody is worried. As the commission, we are worried,” SAHRC chairperson Lawrence Mushwana said while on a visit to Cape Town.

He said violence was unfortunate. He did not know whether the timing of violence at campuses could be explained by an ongoing battle over fees, or whether it was linked to the upcoming local government elections.

Commission spokesperson Isaac Mangena said they sent someone from their Free State office to investigate what happened at the rugby match.

On Monday afternoon, a Varsity Cup match between the University of the Free State (UFS) and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University was disrupted when protesters and students swarmed the field and began brawling.

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

The UFS condemned the violence and started an investigation into the matter using video footage to identify those involved.

UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader said the rugby players of both teams and match officials left the field as the protesters moved towards the halfway line.

UFS security guards were outnumbered.  After a few minutes, spectators ran onto the field and chased and assaulted the protesters. Paramedics treated the injured.

The protesters and spectators included people not enrolled at the university.

Despite accusations of racism on both sides, photos circulating on Twitter showed white and black students helping one another after the clash.

Read more on:    ufs  |  sahrc  |  bloemfontein  |  protests

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