Angry Eswatini students take university lecturers hostage over rape claims

Picture: iStock

Picture: iStock

Classes are boycotted as protesting students take to the streets of Kwaluseni in the Manzini District.

In the University of Eswatini (Uneswa) lecturers have been suspended and are being investigated by university officials following allegations of sexual and physical abuse of several students, including rape, by the lecturers.

Early Wednesday morning, angry students stormed the offices of the lecturers and held them hostage, pinning messages to the doors of the offices stating they were fed up with lecturers abusing students.

Classes were boycotted as the protesting students then took to the streets of Kwaluseni, in the Manzini District where the university is located, The Swazi Observer reported.

Their anger was the culmination of ongoing allegations of sexual abuse and the beating up of a pregnant student by one of the university’s lecturers in full view of other students.

Further allegations of another lecturer allegedly raping a 21-year-old student last Friday have also surfaced.

Addressing throngs of students during a meeting between students and Uneswa management, student representative council president Sakhile Ndzimandze said students were very shocked by the events that unfolded at the university recently and feared for their safety.

He added that the situation was particularly harrowing for female students because they were supposed to feel protected.

The student representative asserted that he too had been a victim of abuse and had been suspended on grounds which remained unclear.

University vice-chancellor Professor Justice Thwala said the matter was being taken seriously and steps have been taken to address the situation. Both lecturers have been suspended and are being investigated, Thwala confirmed as he commended the students for coming forward with their complaints.

– African News Agency

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