Police foil  students’ protest

Police foil students’ protest

MASERU – POLICE were called in after students at the National Health Training College (NHTC) threatened to run amok on Monday over a battery of grievances they say the management is ignoring. The students had started a fire at the campus entrance when the police arrived. They had used chairs, desks and kitchen equipment to block the main gate.

Their major gripe is that the management is not providing adequate security at the campus.
“Criminals jump over the fence and attack us in the campus,” said Hape Motente, president of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC).
“One of the students was stabbed with a knife recently when he was from the library at night,” Motente said.

“A criminal had hidden behind one of the trees in the campus and stabbed the student as he was passing.”
The students also complained about the lack of wi-fi at the campus. Motente said the college kitchen is too filthy.
“We made it clear to the management that they should answer to all our concerns but to no avail,” he said.
The management declined to comment.

The NHTC is a semi-autonomous department of the Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, authorities at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) have suspended two student leaders who threatened a strike.  Vice-Chancellor Professor Nqosa Mahao suspended Thabang Rapapa, who is the SRC president, and Sello Matsatsi who is the secretary general. Prof Mahao accused the two of misconduct.

In the suspension letters Professor Mahao said they should not attend classes or enter the campus without his permission.
The VC said Rapapa and Matsatsi had threatened to cause mayhem at the campus.

The threats are contained in a letter the two are alleged to have written to the Vice-Chancellor querying his decision to recognise a rival faction as the legitimate leaders of the SRC.

“We shall not accept any decision taken without the opinion of the students union,” the students said in the letter.
“Any lecturer who will attend classes or victimise the students for not attending will suffer the consequences.”
Irked by the threat Professor Mahao quickly suspended the students.

The university management has since released a statement saying it was aware that there were two SRCs.
It said it gave the two groups a chance to solve their differences but they failed.

Another group had lodged a case in the High Court seeking recognition by the Vice-Chancellor.
Prof Mahao told the students union to withdraw the case and when it refused he opted to work with its rival.

The VC however said his decision does not imply that he considers its election legitimate. That decision is for the courts, he said.
In their letter the NUL students accused the VC of being malicious. They also accused him of impropriety, unreasonableness, unlawfulness and vindictiveness as well as that he was conducting himself unprofessionally.

The management said there is an organised clique that has infiltrated the student body with the view to destabilise the university.
Rapapa told thepost he is suing the university.

Nkheli Liphoto

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