Thuli Madonsela's daughter speaks out against racial abuse at Tuks

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 - Thuli Madonsela's daughter, Wenzile, who is the EFF's general secretary at the University of Pretoria, has told News24 how she and other students - and their mothers - were insulted during a protest over language last week.

Wenzile, 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.

Madonsela, a law student, said the insults came from AfriForum Youth members, but the organisation's spokesperson told News24 he was not aware of this, and that he would not condone such behaviour.

Madonsela said the insults were preceded by an attack before a debate on language policy at the university with members of AfriForum Youth on Thursday afternoon.

- Watch: Wenzile Madonsela describes protest

"They [AfriForum Youth] were there in their numbers. The university has hired bouncers on top of Fidelity [campus security company] using R2 million a month to control us as the Economic Freedom Fighters and other students who are engaging in any protest. They barricaded us and AfriForum then attacked me, took off my beret under the watch of the university," she said.

“Those people were mandated to choose us as the aggressors. We did not do anything. They were the same people who were whispering to us, 'jou ma se poes', you’re a fucking kaffir, you’re a monkey'. They were agitating us."

AfriForum national co-ordinator Morne Mostert said he could not confirm the incident as he hadn’t seen anything. He said they did not tolerate such behaviour from members. He said they would look into the matter.

"We don’t give instructions to behave like that. We believe in mutual respect and want that for all students. I don’t think that one of our members would do that, but when the matter is brought to us, we will handle it and see if it did happen," said Mostert.

University spokesperson Anna-Retha Bouwer said they would not tolerate hate speech.

"We can't comment on individual fights but as a whole, the university does not condone unlawful action and hate speech would be one. That action goes against the social cohesion that we are trying to build at the university," she said. 

Legal action

Mandonsela, who is the daughter of Public Protecor Thuli Madonsela and a member of the EFF student command, said Thursday’s clashes resulted in students protesting on Friday and shutting down the campus. At least 27 people were arrested on the day for public violence and they appeared in court on Monday. Charges against three of them were dropped, leaving only 24 students to stand trial.

"Police were there and some students were throwing stones, but not necessarily from the EFF student command. They released teargas and started shooting while our backs were towards them, but I know legally they are not allowed to shoot you when your back is towards them.

"I got injured and I’m taking the university to task because I’m a student of the University of Pretoria and their first priority is to protect the students and not to protect the institution," she said.

Madonsela said she would be taking legal action against the AfriForum member who attacked her.

"I will be taking legal action against the guy from AfriForum, SAPS and the University of Pretoria because we can’t have this. Someone needs to be held accountable. We can’t continuously be victimised on campus," she said.

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