The alleged kidnapping of an #OutsourcingMustFall campaign activist led to “a massive uprising” at the Walter Sisulu University with more than 200 protesters subjected to “security using rubber bullets and teargas” it was claimed – but a university spokesperson denied there was chaos on the campus.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said a kidnapping case had been opened at Madeira police station after Vusi Oldman Mahlangu disappeared. Police were trying to track his cellphone. According to the Marikana Support Campaign, Mahlangu was due to meet outsourced workers at Walter Sisulu University, but did not arrive.
“He sent one [SMS] message at 4.30pm that read: ‘I am either kidnapped or arrested and I am bleeding … In a dark place at Mthatha, my phone is about to die,’” the group said. Private investigator Dino Brown said he had received a report that security companies may be involved.
“We have an eyewitness who stated he saw a specific security company abduct him [Mahlangu],” he said. “What has resulted is a massive uprising at the university. There’s been a lot of protesting, up to 200 protesters.
“Security has been using rubber bullets and teargas the whole morning. The volatility of the situation has led to another four or five people being kind of arrested or abducted and taken off the premises.” Brown claimed two people had been shot with live ammunition. He added he was “very, very” worried about Mahlangu’s safety.
University spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo said it was believed Mahlangu was in a group that presented a memorandum to the university calling for an end to outsourcing of workers. “One student was injured by rubber bullets when the campus was stormed yesterday morning,” Tukwayo said, but denied there was chaos on the campus.