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Sat May 28 07:58:14 SAST 2016

Free State university evacuates student residence amid safety fears

TMG Digital | 23 February, 2016 16:08
Demonstrators disrupted a Varsity Cup match between the home side, the Shimlas, and the Madibaz, at the University of the Free State campus on Monday 22 February 2016.
Image by: Screen grab picture taken from JD van Heerden YouTube

The University of the Free State on Tuesday took steps to ensure student safety after a day of demonstrations on its campus‚ following on from the clashes between students on the campus last night.

Members of the university’s Protection Services and the South African Police Service are on the Bloemfontein Campus and are monitoring the situation closely‚ UFS said in a statement.

“Disruption continued this morning when students damaged some university property.

“Some outsourced contract workers and students are still demonstrating outside the Main Gate of the campus on Nelson Mandela Avenue. The campus is relatively calm now and matters are under control.”

However‚ the safety of students in residences on campus is the major concern for the senior leadership of the university and extra care is being taken to ensure their safety‚ the USF statement said.

“In one case a residence had to be vacated and alternative accommodation was arranged for the students. The situation is under control in other residences.”

The Bloemfontein and South Campuses are closed until tomorrow and no academic and administrative services are available.

An investigation is under way into the events of last night when a group of protesters invaded the field where a Varsity Cup match between the Shimlas and NMMU Madibaz was in progress.

“Members of the UFS Protection Services gathered around the protesters but were outnumbered‚” a university statement said‚ and “after a few minutes‚ spectators ran onto the field”. The protesters were chased off the field and beaten by the spectators.


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