Whenever there is a “protest” in South Africa, the wanton vandalism and looting soon follow. -DR
THE #FeesMustFall student protest took an angry turn at the University of Fort Hare in Alice on Monday when hundreds of students broke into a bookstore and looted study material worth thousands of rand at the Alice main campus.
Vandalism and looting took place after angry students protested in the rain and inside a campus building, and later stormed the locked Van Schaik bookstore and plundered the stationery.
Vice-chancellor Vuyo Tom said he was deeply disappointed by the students’ actions, which had turned a legitimate student movement towards criminality.
He described the looting as “a disgrace to the university’s name”. Mr Tom said the students had been trying since last week to break into the bookstore and on Monday morning they looted a Coca Cola truck on the main road. He was at the Alice police station late on Monday to open a case against the students for breaching a court interdict handed down last week.
The looting caught security guards by surprise at 1pm, when thousands of students were turned away by police from their march to the university’s animal-production research farm. No arrests were made. A large contingent of police officers from Queenstown, Alice and East London were dispatched to the university.