MASERU — National University of Lesotho (NUL) student leader Caston Thahanyane says he had to run for dear life after striking students turned on him for “failing to lead” their demonstration. Thahanyane, who is the president of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC), told the Sunday Express on Friday that students beat him up with sticks for allegedly betraying the cause.
Thahanyane said he had to go into hiding after a group of students thrashed him with sticks last Wednesday. “They said how come I was not leading the demonstration. They lashed me with sticks. I had to run for my life. I hid in the next house I found,” he said. He said he did not sustain any injuries. He said the attack had unnerved him as he would now be forced to be part of every action called by students.
“I am now forced to do everything they demand of me. I am scared they will attack me if I don’t,” he said. The students went on strike last Wednesday protesting a cut in their allowances by the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS). The government told the students that they would not be getting their food and rent allowances for June and July because the second semester had been reduced by two months.
The decision incensed students torching demonstrations at the campus in Roma. The police had to be called to close the university last Wednesday. The university was however reopened on Tuesday with lectures also resuming on Wednesday.
Thahanyane said students are now planning to hold a procession to the NMDS to dispute the decision not to give them their allowances for June and July.