University of Fort Hare denies students looted liquor truck

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Fort Hare University.
Fort Hare University.
Chris Gilili, GroundUp
  • Liquor worth R50 000 was looted from a truck on the R63 road outside the University Fort Hare.
  • Eastern Cape police say two people were arrested for being in possession of stolen property. 
  • Video footage depicts scores of students carrying alcohol and celebrating.

Liquor worth R50 000 was looted from a truck on the R63 road outside the University Fort Hare's Alice campus on Tuesday evening.

Eastern Cape police said two people, aged 28 and 58, were arrested for being in possession of stolen property. 

They are due to appear in the Alice Magistrate's Court on Thursday, said police spokesperson Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana. 

According to Kinana, the truck was ambushed and looted at about 19:00. 

Kinana said police managed to recover some of the stolen liquor. 

He said the two people arrested are not students at the University of Fort Hare. 

Both the University of Fort Hare and its Student Representative Council (SRC) have denied reports that students were involved in the looting, despite damning video footage circulating on social media showing scores of excited young people inside the campus carrying alcohol and celebrating.

READ 'It is back' - Troubling videos show jolly youth celebrating return of booze sales

University of Fort Hare SRC president, Siphiwo Ngcenge, denied that students participated in the liquor frenzy.

"We heard the rumours of a truck that was looted, but generally this is something that happened outside the premises of the university, so no one is quite sure who was there and what was happening. But we have information that there were bakkies and Avanza passenger vehicles that were used to transport the stolen liquor. Our students don't own those type of cars," said Ngcenge.

Ngcenge said an investigation was needed to determine whether the students took part in the looting spree. 

Asked to explain several videos, showing young people carrying alcohol on campus grounds, Ngcenge said: "I am not sure about that one, sir."

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University of Fort Hare spokesperson, JP Roodt, said: "The University of Fort Hare strongly condemns any speculation or misleading reports that students were responsible for intimidating a truck driver and then proceeded to loot liquor loaded in a truck.

"The South African Police Service will confirm that the event, which took place at about 19:00 on the R63 Road to Alice, next to the University of Fort Hare, did not involve our student body."

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