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#UFS: Jansen ‘disgusted’ by rugby match violence

The university has experienced tensions after protesting students disrupted a rugby game last night.

University of the Free State Vice Chancellor Prof. Jonathan Jansen held a media briefing in Bloemfontein over demonstrations at the university's main campus on 23 February 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.
student protest,violence student protests,University of the Free State UFS,Jonathan Jansen
Local

BLOEMFONTEIN - University of the Free State Vice Chancellor Jonathan Jansen says he is devastated after witnessing students clash during a rugby match.

Protesting students disrupted a Varsity Cup rugby game last night, with spectators then rushing onto the field and assaulting them.

WATCH: Varsity Cup rugby match brawl

Jansen attended the match and says he is disgusted at what happened.

“My heart sank. I am still trying to come to terms [with it]. It’s a terrifying thing for South Africans to see the level of abuse that we can sink to, over a rugby match.”

The university has launched a full investigation, and says those identified to have been on the wrong side of the law will face disciplinary hearings.

University management says it has arranged meetings with several groups involved in the protest. 

The vice chancellor says extra security will be deployed on campus tonight.

“Our first priority is to make sure the students are safe and staff and, as far as we can, that the property is protected. We have ordered 60 additional security staff, from out of town, to help us.”

Meanwhile, calm has been restored at the university after acts of violence and vandalism believed to have been triggered by last night’s match field assault.

Angry protesters set alight the statue of apartheid president, CR Swart and spray painted the words ‘Robert Sobukwe Law School’ on the outside wall of a building.

Protesting workers are calling for an end to outsourcing, while students want racial divisions to be addressed.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

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