NUL protest leader de­nies po­lit­i­cal mo­tive

Lesotho Times - - News - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

THE al­leged ring­leader of the re­cent un­rest at the Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho (NUL) has de­nied al­le­ga­tions of a po­lit­i­cal mo­tive, say­ing he was merely fight­ing for the stu­dents’ in­ter­ests.

Makhaola Thienyane was sus­pended last Fri­day by NUL manage­ment af­ter con­ven­ing an unau­tho­rised meet­ing with first-year stu­dents over Na­tional Man­power De­vel- op­ment Sec­re­tar­iat (NMDS) stipends at the cam­pus’ Stu­dents Cen­tre pop­u­larly known as Mza­las.

Ac­cord­ing to a press state­ment re­leased by NUL, stu­dents in­sti­gated by Mr Thienyane “in­vaded teach­ing fa­cil­i­ties hur­ried lec­tur­ers and stu­dents out of classes and dis­rupted the nor­mal ac­tiv­i­ties of the univer­sity”.

“They fur­ther went about trash­ing the cam­pus, dam­aged prop­erty and made a bon­fire at the main gate with tim­ber ma­te­rial bought to ren­o­vate the Univer­sity yo­gurt fac­tory,” reads part of the state­ment.

Fol­low­ing Mr Thienyane’s suspension, the Le­sotho Stu­dents Con­ven­tion (LESCO) NUL branch is­sued a press state­ment ac­cu­se­ing the fourth-year stu­dent of try­ing to pur­sue a “congress agenda” at the in­sti­tute. LESCO is a stu­dent or­gan­i­sa­tion af­fil­i­ated to the All Basotho Con­ven­tion.

“We there­fore con­demn ac­tions or­ches­trated by the congress-af­fil­i­ated stu­dents in­flu­enc­ing stu­dents to shun classes in the name of protest­ing against Thienyane’s suspension,” read the state­ment signed by LeSCO NUL Branch Sec­re­tary M. Mo­fun­disi.

How­ever, Mr Thienyane told this pa­per his suspension was purely aca­demic.

“I saw the LESCO press re­lease and it is not true that my suspension has any­thing to do with pol­i­tics. I don’t want my suspension to be politi­cised. It is not true that some congress mem­bers are politi­ciz­ing this mat­ter. It is purely an aca­demic mat­ter and must be han­dled as such.”

Mean­while, the NUL state­ment al­leged Mr Thienyane did not have the “bona fides of what­ever kind” to con­vene stu­dents meet­ing on cam­pus or to cam­paign for Stu­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil elec­tions as “he was not a reg­is­tered stu­dent”.

“It has also tran­spired that Thienyane hav­ing failed his year of study can only come to cam­pus as a re­peat­ing stu­dent. As a re­peat­ing stu­dent, he is not even en­ti­tled to an NMDS bur­sary and there­fore can­not pre­tend to be one of those ag­grieved by the de­lay in NMDS pro­cesses,” the state­ment read.

nul main en­trance.

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