Plucked from a News24 report is a claim that the Free State police collaborated with University of the Free State administration and raided understudy residents, arresting individuals without any provocation the last night.
While the aforementioned report stated that private security guards from Fidelity were involved in the raid, it was disclosed based on what students on campus said, that between 9 and 21 black students were arrested by police
whereas the whites were left alone.
The Daily Vox reported about a lady who experienced the raids. She recounted that “police took guys who were not even protesting, who were just sitting in their rest rooms. They even put pepper spray in the hostel. We don’t know why they were doing that…they were just going crazy. They tried to enter the female residences.” Meanwhile, eNCA reported that the security agents in their raid, arrested a journalist who was at a student residence at the time. A station manager at Mosupatsela FM related that the journalist was covering the story for the station when he was arrested with other students.
“I called the police countless times to convince them that he was not a student. I told them he was one of my journalists,” the station manager said. But “the police are insisting that they want proof from the university that he is not a student in order to release him,” he said.
Another student confirmed the raid tweeting ; “I have moved off campus, police are looking for us. They came to our res with guns. They broke my window but I hid. It’s chaos. They’re arresting EVERYONE.” Below is a screenshot chat about a first year student who was arrested whereas he didn’t participate in the protest.
Free State police spokesperson Captain Chaka Marope said he was not aware of this. On Thursday, the university said that the demand by students that Rector and Vice Chancellor Jonathan Jansen be removed from his post would be referred to its management structures.
Students rejected this response. They then allegedly tried to vandalise the statue of former Orange Free State president Marthinus Theunis Steyn. Police fired rubber bullets and used stun grenades. Twenty-one students were arrested. They were expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on charges of malicious damage to property later on Friday, Free State police said.