Calls for banks and blacks to pull out of Varsity Cup after violence
The chaotic scenes that ensued after a Varsity Cup rugby match was disrupted by protesters on the University of the Free State (UFS) campus was among the topics trending on social media in South Africa on Tuesday.
The university on Monday announced that it will shut down for two days and said an “urgent investigation is underway‚ using footage from the event”.
UFS Bfn Campus closed 23-24 Feb 2016 due to strike and protest. Safety of staff and students our priority. No academic or admin services.— UFS/UV (@UFSweb) February 22, 2016
South Campus shut 23-24 Feb due to strike of outsourced workers. Safety of staff & students our priority. No academic or admin services.— UFS/UV (@UFSweb) February 22, 2016
The game - between FNB Shimlas and FNB NMMU Madibaz – was abandoned in the 17th minute after a “group (of) protesters moved onto the field in order to disrupt the match already underway”‚ the university said.
After “UFS Protection Services…were outnumbered”‚ a statement said‚ “spectators ran onto the field…protesters were chased off the field and beaten by the spectators”.
“It is clear at this time that both the protesting group and the spectators included non-students in their number.”
The “senior leadership of the UFS”‚ however‚ appeared to single out the spectators‚ saying it “condemns in the strongest terms possible the violence against the protesters”.
Some‚ like That Rugby Jock @AndreGeel‚ lamented the scenes that unfolded after footage of the fracas went viral: “Morning‚ not so good morning... So sad wrt the Student protesters and fans clashing during the Varsity Cup game between Shields & NMMU”.
It wasn’t clear who Kaunda Ntunja @kaundantunja wanted in custody‚ but he opined: “The scenes in Bloemfontein at that Varsity Cup match were disturbing. Arrests should be made. We can't live like this in 2016.”
Some called for the withdrawal of backing by Absa – title sponsor of the the Varsity Cup competition –and FNB – title sponsor of the teams in Monday match.
super fly to ladies @e2mile said: “@FNBSA we waiting on you to pull out of varsity cup #ufs”‚ while an impatient Late Graduate @Derockingal weighed in with: “ABSA responded to OPW in time you are sleeping @FNBSA you are quite. I'm highly angered about the varsity cup behaviour”.
Ikaelelo @Dikhing‚ however‚ believed the violence on Monday should have consequences for UFS: “The University of the Free State must immediately be barred from participating in the Varsity Cup!”
L. Mase @UltimateLale pondered: “I wonder how Black Varsity Cup players are gonna react to this racial incident...”‚ while #VukaKhafula @TokzPhungula suggested a course of action: “Every black player in the varsity cup should not get on a rugby field till this is over. Sad reality is that won't happen cause ‘sincengile’”
#FeesMustFall @seloanatebogo also took a racial tack: “We don't want apologies or sympathy we want whites out of our land @PresidencyZA‚ we want varsity cup out @MbalulaFikile”.
UFS’s MaNgwanya @Peliwe_M appeared to be mobilising a response to what happened on Monday: “If white Afrikaaner parents are armed and joining their kids to terrorise black kids in the UFS‚ what are we as black parents doing?”