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UNISWA CLOSED AS STUDENT RIOT TURNS NASTY

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image LUYENGO – This police vehicle landed in this position after it was pushed and overturned by a rowdy group of UNISWA Luyengo Campus students yesterday. Next to the car is a hat (circled) belonging to an officer which is suspected to have fallen when he/she

LUYENGO – Shattered glass, an overturned police vehicle and rocks thrown all over the place is what was left after a clash between cops and students of the University of Swaziland, Luyengo Campus.


The chaos erupted during a student class boycott which resulted in the three UNISWA campuses in the country being closed indefinitely.
The drama-filled incident took place yesterday morning, which is hardly three weeks after the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) had opened for the 2017/18 academic year.


The decision to boycott classes was taken by the students from all the three campuses (Kwaluseni, Mbabane and Luyengo) on Wednesday, but it was the chaos that erupted at Luyengo that compelled the administration to close the institution.


A source close to the matter said at Luyengo Campus, the students held a meeting on Wednesday night and it attracted the attention of the administration, which then called the police the following morning to maintain peace and order.
However, the source said the students had told the administration not to call the police because their presence usually resulted in a chaotic encounter between the two.


The source said early in the morning, about 20 uniformed but unarmed police officers were deployed to the institution, something which did not go down well with students who then gathered stones around the campus in preparation for a fight.


It was gathered that because the first troop of police officers was harmless, the class boycott went ahead as planned but later on, the students saw heavily armed officers from the Operational Support Service Unit (OSSU) parking their armoured trucks and Casspirs inside the campus premises.

The source said it was then that the students resolved to go and loot food at the refectory but they were blocked by the police.
“This resulted in a confrontation between the police and the students as the latter pelted the cops with stones,” the source said.
He said, however, the resilient officers stood firm and fought the students using batons. He said the encounter, which lasted for about 20 minutes ended because the students had used all the stones they had collected. “In the process, four police officers were injured and were immediately rushed to hospital,” he said.

 

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