Times of Eswatini
Shots fired as mob vandalises UNESWA property, 4 held
MANZINI - Police were called and fired several gunshots following that a group of unknown people were found vandalising property at UNESWA, Kwaluseni Campus.
In the process, the members of the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) arrested four men in connection with the vandalism. According to a source, who is well-placed within the University of Eswatini (UNESWA), Kwaluseni Campus, the incident took place on Monday at around 8pm.
However, the source said it all started in the morning of the same day, when a group of unknown people used an informal entrance to gain entry into the university premises. He said some members of the group who were armed with sticks and stones, threatened to assault the security guards at the institution of higher learning, if they stood in their way.
However, he said the unknown people did not do anything, but walked through the campus to the main gate and along the way; they allegedly uttered threats of vandalising property and made political statements.
The source said they left the university through the main gate.
Thereafter, the source said at around 8pm, a group of about 20 men, who they believe were made up of the same that had visited the campus earlier on the day, stormed the institution and pelted stones at the windows at the property, including dormitories.
“They also opened hose pipes at various buildings at the university,” the source said. He also claimed that some of them tried to steal part of the pillars of the marquee, which was being erected for the graduation ceremony, which had been postponed indefinitely.
However, he said police were called and they responded promptly to the call, something which disturbed them and they fled.
In fact, the source said when the police arrived, they fired warning shots and a hot pursuit ensued. He said in the process, those who had taken some of the pillars of the marquee dropped them along the way and they (pillar) were found by the police. “In the process the police managed to apprehend four men,” the source said.
UNESWA Registrar Dr Salebona Simelane, said the university was aware that a group of men came into Kwaluseni Campus on Monday morning and they threatened some of the security guards who were on duty.
Once more, the registrar said they also gathered that on Monday evening, a group of unknown people vandalised the university property. However, he asked not to comment much about the matter as it was being handled by the police.
On the same note, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, confirmed the incident. She said police were called to the university after a group of men was seen vandalising some of the property of the institution of higher learning and opening hose pipes.
She said during the operation, the police managed to arrest four men in connection with the vandalism. She said they would appear in court in due course.
It is worth noting that last Friday, the UNESWA administration closed two of the three campuses; Kwaluseni and Mbabane. This followed a protest action by the students, who are organised under the banner of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS). The protest was over insufficient scholarships, among other things.
Again, on Monday, the university postponed its graduation ceremony, which was slated for Saturday, October 8, 2022. The university said it postponed the graduation ceremony because of unforeseen circumstances. The new date for the ceremony is yet to be announced.