Tensions have flared up again on the University of the Free State (UFS) campus with police officers and Fidelity private security allegedly hunting down students who have been participating in the protests across the Bloemfontein campus. Jessica*, a student at UFS, recounted to The Daily Vox how she tried to keep the cops and security out of her residence on Thursday night.
“About an hour ago, they were just going crazy. They tried to enter the female residences. We told them that we cannot just let them in you because they have to go through the residence head and they were just swearing at us,” said Jessica.
“There was an SAPS guy who threatened to beat us up because we said we weren’t going to let him in. We were telling them that in order for us to let them in, we needed to see something like an eviction notice or a search warrant. Especially since it’s a female residence. People are here walking naked or in their panties and taking showers, we can’t just let them in.”
Jessica also alleged that another student had her residence room window opened with a gun wielded by a private security guard. It is unclear what kind of gun it was and why it was used to open the window at this time, but The Daily Vox is attempting to contact the student in question to find out more.
According to Jessica, the private security guards are from Fidelity and are mostly from out of town, namely Mpumalanga and Johannesburg. This has not, as of yet, been confirmed with Fidelity.
Jessica has mostly been focused on getting students off of campus, as it seems students who have been active in the protests are being specifically targeted. “They took some of the guys because I think they were targeting the guys who are leaders in the strike and some of them we managed to get them off campus. Some of them even had to dress up like women to get out,” she said.
“In the other residence they took guys who were not even protesting, who were just sitting in their res rooms. They even put pepper spray in the hostel. We don’t know why they were doing that,” she added.
*Name has been changed for safety
Editors’ note: This story will be updated as new information becomes available.
Featured image by Qiniso Mbili