Monday, 21 February 2005

300 students trash Tuks campus

18/02/2005 06:52 - (SA)

Hilda Fourie and Delia du Toit

Pretoria - The notorious slogan, "One farmer, one bullet!", was chanted by demonstrating students on Pretoria University main campus on Thursday afternoon.

The demonstrators were from the Pan-Africanist Students Movement of Azania (Pasma).

The group was demanding lower class fees and financial support to underprivileged students.

The demonstrators also demanded that buses be provided to transport students from Atteridgeville, Soshanguve and Pretoria Central.

The group of about 300 was taken to the main campus by bus from Mamelodi campus.

They left a trail of overturned refuse bins on the campus.

A female student was allegedly hit with a branch from a tree when she tried to stop demonstrators from overturning a rubbish bin.

She was taken to hospital for treatment.

'Started pushing us around'

The demonstrators also threw a brick through the window of a lecture hall.

A security guard, who was inside the building, was slightly injured.

Rudolf Bredell, a students who was in a lecture, said: "They swore at us and we were told to get up and get out.

"When we refused, they started pushing us around. We felt threatened."

Tensions ran high at a later stage when other students formed a barricade around the demonstrators in an effort to force them off the campus.

Pasma last week handed a memorandum containing "observations and demands" to the university management and asked that they get a report-back by Thursday.

The uproar started because the students were unhappy about the reaction by the university authorities to their memorandum.

The university said in a statement that, among other things, financial support was being given to needy students and that its admission policy did not discriminate on a racial basis.

Professor Chris de Beer, deputy rector, said: "The insinuation that the university is using financial exclusion for racial purposes is rejected with the contempt it deserves."

Edited by Iaine Harper


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