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Monday, 18 November 2013

STUDENTS FLEE ROOMS AS POLICE ATTACK

Students at the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) have been urged to leave their dormitory rooms for fear of being victims of police violence. One student leader had teargas thrown into his room by state security police.

Student leaders made the plea today (18 November 2013) after police raided campuses of the university and attacked students in their rooms.

Student representative Council President Maxwell Dlamini said police had raided a residence block at the UNISWA Kwaluseni Campus and were trying to force students out of their rooms. Students have been protesting about examinations and wanted them postponed.

Dozens of armed police were reported to be at the university during the past weekend.

A report published today in UNISWA Today, a student on-line newspaper site, said, ‘Three hours from now students were supposed to sit for their first examination paper. As this report is written, the S-block has become a jail since students can’t leave the residence. Anyone who is leaving his dormitory is being captured. Police have even started raiding the dormitories, the intention is unknown.’

In a separate report UNISWA Today said a university warden at the UNISWA Luyengo Campus allowed officers of the Swaziland state security force OSSU to raid all dormitory rooms  and to sjambock ‘all students who are found having squatted in other’s rooms’.

SRC Vice President Anthony Mthembu, writing on UNISWA Today said, ‘The operation started at 2330hrs and ended at about 3am. He also ordered that all SRC members be arrested as they are “ring leaders”. To ensure that he gave them our room numbers and a master key.

‘They arrived at my room at around 01.30 and tried opening my door but couldn't since I had inserted my key inside and fully twisted it. They threatened to camp outside my room and asked me where Max [Maxwell Dlamini, SRC President] is.

‘I resisted to which they threw teargas in my room, that I resisted too, but they tried to break in and my roomate opened. The squabble lasted for about 45 minutes. Upon opening they clapped me and alleged that there are petrol bombs in my room.

‘They searched all my suitcases, CPU and monitor cartons, cabinets, washing basket and anything you can think of. They even came to an extent of mistaking a wireless mouse for a “bomb”’

Students were then taken to police stations for questioning.

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