Troubled Turfloop University expels so-called ringleaders

Frank Maponya

The troubled University of Limpopo Turfloop campus yesterday expelled 30 students it accused of causing trouble at the institution.

This follows ugly incidents on Wednesday night in which students damaged property belonging to the university and a private security company.

The students went on the rampage, burning tyres and damaging the library, administration block, dining halls and entrance gates, including three cars belonging to the security company.

At the centre of the row were allegations that the university had taken a unilateral decision to increase tuition fees from next year without consulting with the student leadership.

The university management was accused by students of planning to increase the fees by R5000 a student.

But the university denied these claims.

Spokesman Kgalema "DK" Mohuba said yesterday he was not aware of the alleged increase in fees.

He said if students had information to that effect, they were invited to share it with the university management.

"But based on the current situation at the university, the management has taken a decision to expel those students who became disruptive and destroyed property," said Mohuba.

He confirmed that 30 students had been expelled.

Mohuba identified those expelled as Pitso Mphasha Mabitsela, Justice Mathekgane, Nxonga, Tshepo-Mshiniwane Maake, Kgankela, Sello Boshomane, Matome Lekgema, Given Matome, Mmapula Letsoalo, Rieta Mampana, Madida Zakhele, Walter, Nkune, Gilbert and Dimakatso Letageng, all student leaders representing the Pan-Africanist Students' Movement (Pasma), and Abel Tjia, Richard Ramashila, Mpho Sebola, Irvin Boshomane, Thabiso Stross, Alex Mojodo, Clerence Mathekgane, Wesley Maringa, Mlungisi Steven Mkibo, Veronica Mashilo, Besty Malatjie, Ntokoza Matonzela, Bob Mongwe, Mogale Gafane and Selamolela NE, all leaders of the South African Students' Congress (Sasco).

Mohuba said some of the students who were involved in the disruptive activities did not qualify to write their final examinations "and therefore wanted to spoil the chances of devoted students".

"We have taken the decision in the interest of restoring and maintaining stability on campus," he said.

Mpho Sebola of Sasco said yesterday he was not surprised by their expulsion.

He said they were going to challenge the decision.