Students clash over Zuma visit

VIOLENCE erupted at the Tshwane University of Technology yesterday as ANC and EFF members squared off at the Soshanguve campus, north of Pretoria, ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s arrival.

A handful of EFF members were singing on an open piece of ground outside the hall when a large group of students in ANC regalia encircled them. Fists started flying after an ANC member grabbed an EFF member’s beret to set it alight.

EFF members fleeing from their attackers stormed the security checkpoint. Police had to disarm the warring groups, who were armed with sticks and stones.

Journalists were threatened and ordered to delete their pictures and videos.

Running battles between the two groups continued to flare up until just before Zuma and his entourage arrived.

EFF member Alpheous Rathoakga said he could not understand why they had been attacked. “We have every right to be here. This is not an ANC rally but a government event.”

Student Representative Council president Bongani Maluleke said the violence was caused by confusion over whether it had been an ANC or government event.

Zuma was there to hear complaints about security, funding and accommodation.

-Sipho Masombuka and Neo Goba

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