Student leader kicked out of NUL
NATIONAL University of Lesotho (NUL) student leader Thabang Rapapa has been suspended from the institution for “instigating and inciting” riots at the main campus in August 2018.
Mr Rapapa was suspended for four years, two of which have been set aside. This means that he can only reapply for admission in 2021. His expulsion follows a three-months suspension for “instigating and inciting” riots at the main campus in August 2018.
NUL students rioted for two days to protest the delay in the disbursement of their allowances by the university management and the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS).
The student unrest came just two weeks after the start of the 2018/2019 academic year.
The NUL management subsequently fingered Mr Rapapa as one of the student leaders behind the protests.
In a letter dated 7 November 2018 and signed by the NUL registrar, Mr Rapapa was expelled from the institution after the university senate found him guilty of contravening the NUL general regulations on students’ discipline.
“This is to officially inform you that the Vice Chancellor considered the recommendation from the Senate Committee on Discipline wherein you were charged with unlawful incitement of public disorder and/or disruption of frustration of classes in contravention of General Regulations on Students’ Discipline as stated in the NUL Student Handbook.
“The committee having read and explained the charge to you, you pleaded not guilty. But after consideration of evidence from both sides, the committee found you guilty as charged.
“The Senate Committee on Discipline recommended that you be rusticated for a period of four (4) years starting from the 2018/2019 academic year. Having considered the circumstances of your case, the Vice-Chancellor decided to executively reduce your penalty to rustication for a period of two academic years being 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 effective immediately.
“I strongly advise you to desist from acts of indiscipline such as this one while at the National University of Lesotho. If in future you are found guilty of similar misconducts, the University will not hesitate to rusticate you permanently from this institution,” part of the letter from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nqosa Mahao’s office states.
In an interview with this publication, Mr Rapapa said he had no intention of contesting the NUL decision to suspend him, adding it would be a waste of time.
Mr Rapapa said although he had seen this coming, the decision was however, unfair.
“I had seen this coming. It has always been the aim to expel me from the university. I have been accused of being a threat to the school and I do not know where that accusation came from. This tells me that those in power have a personal vendetta against me.
“I have decided not to contest the decision. I have realised that it would a waste of time and money. I will go home and wait for the two years until they lift the suspension,” Mr Rapapa said.