Violent clashes at Tuks

Photo: Facebook

Violent language protests resumed at Pretoria University on Monday with students from conflicting camps getting involved into skirmishes.

Scenes on social media showed a student slapping another and a security guard with a bloodied face. The violence continued until mid-afternoon on the Hatfield campus that was closed to academic activity earlier in the day.

Demonstrations to have Afrikaans removed as a language of instruction have been plaguing the institution since last week, This moved management last week to obtain an interdict against unlawful protesting.

 Economic Freedom Fighters student command (EFFSC) nevertheless organised new protests on Monday, with its main rival AfriForum Youth seeking to protect students’ right to study.

University spokesperson Anna-Retha Bouwer said management was worried over study time being lost because of the protests. She said it was not clear when academic activity would resume.

“Management is communicating with the different parties to find a solution that would classes returning to normal.”

EFFSC chairperson Kabelo Mahlobogwane vowed to continue the #AfrikaansMustFall programme on Tuesday.

“We will not stop before Afrikaans has been scrapped.”

The university announced on Monday that it would submit proposals for English to become the sole language of instruction at the university. Processes to this end were underway, it said.

Daniel Viljoen, a UP student, was on campus when clashes occurred.

“There was a lot of violence and racist comments coming from both sides.”

Viljoen says AfriForum students were thrown with bricks when they started singing the Afrikaans song ‘Sarie Marais.’

“Someone was hit in the face with a mop. Others took scaffolding apart to throw around. Clothes were torn and some even took tiles from the walls to throw around.”

Viljoen plans on going back to campus tomorrow as he has lost a lot of academic time in the past week.

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