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Student leader beaten up

Caswell Tlali

 

MASERU — Angry National University of Lesotho (NUL) students last week beat up the president of their Students Representative Council (SRC) for allegedly failing to organise enough buses to take them to the intervarsity games which were being held in Swaziland.

Students said university authorities had given the SRC enough money to hire 10 buses from the Lesotho Freight and Bus Services Corporation. 

But the SRC president, Caston Thahanyane, had allegedly paid money enough to hire only six buses.

The remaining students, who included some participants and supporters, were left stranded at the Maseru Bridge border gate.

Thahanyane is understood to have kept promising that more buses were coming to take the remaining students.

But after waiting for nearly 18 hours, the students turned their anger against Thahanyane on Saturday morning.

Witnesses said Thahanyane was rescued from the irate mob by the police who were patrolling the border gate area.

The SRC’s sports representative, Molefi Hlojeng, confirmed to the Sunday Express that there was a report that the students assaulted Thahanyane but said he could not comment because he was not present at the border gate when the incident happened.

Hlojeng also confirmed that the students were angry because they had not managed to get buses to Swaziland.

“I can confirm that there has been discontent but I cannot say with certainty that the president was assaulted because I was not there,” Hlojeng said.

“I only heard a report that he was assaulted.”

Hlojeng said he had hired 10 buses to transport participants and spectators to the Swaziland games but late on Friday they realised that there were too many people who were waiting at the border gate.

“The 10 buses took the people who were present, including some of the participants,” Hlojeng said.

“There were preparations to hire additional buses and it seemed that the students got angry when there was a delay.”

Hlojeng said four additional buses were hired and the participants and other people who were waiting at the border gate were transported to Swaziland.

The Sunday Express can reveal that the university intervened by hiring more buses to take the students to the games.

Police spokesperson, Masupha Masupha, has however told this paper that the police had not received any report about the NUL SRC leader’s ordeal with fellow students.

“The officer commanding there (border post police) says he never received such a report,” Masupha said.

“The police can intervene where people have clashes and they may not necessarily make arrests or open a docket if the dispute is solved.

“However, if they take anybody to the police post either by arrest or merely protecting him from the angry mob they write that in the occurrence book.”

Thahanyane could not be reached for comment.

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