NUL officer relives ordeal
NATIONAL University of Lesotho (NUL) Marketing Officer, Thapelo Sephiri this week relived his harrowing ordeal where he was injured by the police during the student protests at the Roma campus on Monday.
Mr Sephiri told the Lesotho Times that it all started when he tried to peep through the window to see what was happening at the main gate of the university where most of the drama was taking place.
“I heard a lot of noise as students were running away and I stood up from my chair to peep through the window to see what was really happening, Mr Sephiri said, adding, “Suddenly I heard a gunshot and I felt something on my cheek”.
“I noticed there were broken glasses on my cheek and sat back on the chair in confusion.
“I was confused for about five minutes not knowing what to do. I was wondering what had happened to me. I thought I had been shot until I realised that I only sustained minor injuries from the glasses of a broken window,” he said.
He said he was taken to St Joseph’s Hospital in Roma where he was treated as an out-patient.
“I was not badly injured but I have never been frightened like that before,” he added.
He said he was still failing to understand how he got injured in his office “which is quite a distance from the main gate where the protests were happening.”
“I am now afraid to sit next to the window because of the ordeal.”
NUL’S Students Representative Counsel (SRC) secretary general, Thato Ponya yesterday said 16 students sustained injuries during the protests.
“16 students have been reported as victims of attacks by the police during the protests at both (Roma and Institute of Extra-mural Studies Maseru) campuses.
“Most of them sustained minor injuries, except two who are reported to have sustained more serious injuries,” Mr Ponya said.
Some students sustained injuries after police fired rubber bullets to disperse them as they protested outside their campuses.
They were protesting over Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s alleged failure to address grievances concerning their bursaries from the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS).
Among other issues, the students are demanding bursaries for students pursuing some of the Diploma courses which include Mass Communication at the IEMS campus.
They also want their monthly and book allowances increased.
They further demanded “that the purported fees debt by NUL students who are sponsored by NMDS be covered immediately by NMDS, as it is a right of every Mosotho to be given sponsorship”.
However, Dr Mosisili on Tuesday responded to the petition made by the NUL students on 30 March 2017.
Dr Mosisili said some of the issues raised by students were already under discussion between the government and the NUL management.
IEMS students run away from the police during the skirmishes on Tuesday.