MASERU — Security guards at the Lesotho Agricultural College on Thursday night shot dead a man who had visited his mother who works at the campus.
The same guards, from Roar Lions Security, also beat the deceased man’s brother with the butt of a gun during the fracas.
The police suspect the incident could have started when the brothers were driving out of the campus.
And on Friday morning the guards also shot and seriously injured three students who were demonstrating against Thursday’s incident.
The angry students were demanding that college authorities cancel the contract with Roar Lions Security when the guards allegedly opened fire at them.
One was shot on the shoulder, another on the mouth while the other was hit on the eye.
Police spokesperson Pheello Mphana said the two brothers found the main exit gate locked when they wanted to get out after visiting their mother.
He said the younger brother got out of the car and tried to open the gate but the security guard appeared from behind him and hit him with the butt of a gun.
“When the brother who was still in the car came out and asked why the guard was hitting his brother, the guard shot him and he died instantly,” Mphana said.
“The security guard was arrested on the same night and will be charged with murder and assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm.”
The other victim was admitted at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, Mphana said.
On Friday students at the college marched in protest and set the guardroom ablaze.
The students said they wanted the guards out of the campus “as soon as possible”.
It was at this moment that the guards allegedly fired at the students, injuring three of them.
Mphana said three guards were in police custody waiting to face attempted murder charges.
The students were so angry that they demanded an immediate meeting with the college management and refused to have their Student Representative Committee (SRC) involved.
When the principal, Paseka Keta, arrived the students followed his car to the parking, singing and shouting that he should cancel the security company’s contract.
They were holding placards saying: “Security guards out”, “Fighting for our freedom” and “How can we learn?”
They shouted that they wanted to be free and secure at their own school.
“Agric College is an abattoir,” they sang.
SRC president Mapeete Moshoeshoe said they were “extremely angry that a visitor had lost his life while another one was beaten”.
“It even got worse when our fellow students were shot this morning,” Moshoeshoe said.
“We want that security company out of our campus.
“These security guards are very dangerous to students.
“We do not feel safe at all.
“We even had an agreement with the management that we want another company.”
This was not the first incident at the college.
Last year a student was allegedly shot by the security guards in the compound.
“One student was shot last year during the graduations by a security guard from the same company and the management did nothing about it,” said a student who preferred anonymity.
“Luckily that one was just injured, not killed.
“These guards are abusive.
“They beat students without reason, so we have had enough.
“I believe the college would be better off without them.”
Acting registrar at the college, Ratikane Khakanyo, confirmed that an outsider was shot at the campus on Thursday night.
“I heard that there was a clash between a security guard and an outsider and the security guard ended up shooting and killing that person on campus last night,” he said.
“I arrived here early at 6am in order to address this issue.
“I did not know that the other one was beaten up.
“There is a regulation passed last year after two taxis were stolen at the car park in our campus.
“It was made clear that there should be no visitors’ cars allowed at the campus parking after 9pm but visitors are allowed to be on campus until 11pm.
“It was also made clear that visitors should not go to the students’ residence.”
Khakanyo said the college had by Friday afternoon not talked to the management of the security company.
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