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Varsity exams postponed

By unknown | Apr 03, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Exams have been postponed at the University of Zululand because of violence between students aligned to the ANC and the IFP.

Police have been called in and used rubber bullets to disperse feuding students from the IFP-aligned South African Democratic Students Movement (Sadesmo) and the ANC-aligned South African Students Congress (Sasco).

Nine students have been hospitalised after being shot and stabbed during confrontations. Some jumped out of windows after being attacked in their rooms.

The conflict arose after Sadesmo barred ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's convoy from the campus. Some attacked the convoy.

Police have arrested seven Sadesmo members, who have been charged with public violence.

The situation at the campus remained tense yesterday with no-go areas for the rival groups on campus and at residences.

IFP posters and those of ANC president Jacob Zuma lay mangled on the ground.

At night almost no students leave their rooms for fear of being attacked.

"This behaviour is unacceptable. I'm not interested in their political bickering, but they should not put our lives under threat," said student Thembi Majola.

Sadesmo member Bonga Ndebele said he had narrowly escaped death after he was pelted with stones and assaulted before being stabbed three times.

"I was attacked because I am not a Sasco member. I was rescued by campus security guards."

Sasco chairperson Xolani Memela said his group was committed to ensuring the safety of the students. He blamed Sadesmo members for the violence on the campus.

"They barred Malema's convoy from campus, and violence erupted because students were waiting to be addressed," he said.

Andile Biyela, president of the Sadesmo-dominated students representative council, said political intolerance was a big problem on the campus.

"We cannot walk freely now because we fear that we might be attacked."

He urged the police to arrest those who perpetrated the violence.


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