Local NewsVIDEO: #UFSShutdown - students call for exam postponement after violence
─── OLEBOGENG MOTSE 09:50 Mon, 23 Oct 2017
Students from the University of the Free State (UFS) are demanding that exams be postponed over allegations of violence inflicted on students by police.
This follows the arrest of 37 students at the Bloemfontein campus over the weekend. Angry students marched to the main building of the UFS Bloemfontein Campus today to air their grievances to university management. According to UFS student, Sanelisiwe Mtambo, these 37 students were allegedly assaulted and harassed by police this past Friday, prior to their arrest. According to the Free Education Movement, all students are scheduled to appear in court today. A female student told university management today that they had let students down.
“I took many girls to the hospital on Friday, some of them are pregnant. The police have beaten some of those girls. We look up to the university leadership as our parents. We are depending on you, yet you throw us to the wolves.”
In an effort to calm enraged students, Vice-Chancellor of the University, Francis Petersen, promised to engage with student leadership over students who were physically and emotionally harmed over the weekend.
Mtambo says that last week the student leadership handed in a memorandum listing many of the UFS students’ concerns. These concerns include a possible 8% fee hike, high internet rates and a tight exam schedule that has resulted in some students having to write two exams on the same day or six exams over the course of two weeks. Mtambo asks “how are students expected to excel when they have to write six exams over two weeks”. Meanwhile, year-end University exams are presently underway.
Videographer: Olebogeng Motse