Graeme Hosken, Pretoria News, Feb. 19
Police have promised to take “appropriate action” to ensure that any planned protest by the radical Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) takes place in a peaceful and lawful manner.
In reacting to threats by Pasma to bring violent protests to the main campus of the University of Pretoria after burning tyres and barricading gates at the university’s Mamelodi campus on Friday, Captain Piletji Sebola said police were concerned with the manner in which the protests were being conducted.
“We will not just fold our arms and watch. Where there is lawlessness we will react and arrest those responsible.
“We are prepared for any pending protest march and we hope this protest will be conducted within the parameters of the law,” he said.
Sebola said they would not underestimate the possible threat and are warning protesters that if they become a law unto themselves then they must expect drastic action to be taken.
“We will kill the whites, all of them; Afrikaans and English,” rioting Pasma students and their leaders at the university’s Mamelodi campus chanted on Friday.
Students barricaded gates with burning tyres in an effort to prevent police from gaining access and dispersing the crowds.
Screaming “revolution is the only solution” and “kill the police, burn their cars”, more than 200 students charged around the campus tearing up the university’s flag, burning tyres and damaging trees.
Intimidating journalists and threatening to kill them if they covered next week’s planned riots in a “biased manner”, Pasma leaders tried to prevent the Pretoria News from speaking to the campus’s Student Representative Council (SRC) and South African Students Congress members, grabbing notebooks and cellphones in attempts to stop interviews with the “pro-white organisation”.
“We know that you white journalists are biased.
“You do not report properly on our cause and only cover white students’ complaints. On Monday we will give you enough white students’ complaints to cover,” vowed Vusi Mahlangu.
Mahlangu, deputy secretary of the Gauteng Pasma regional office, promised that blood would flow at the university’s main campus in Hatfield.
“We have had enough of racist students and their lecturers who profess to have our interests at heart. We are tired of being discriminated against because we cannot pay the fees and because we are not passing.
“We feel that this discrimination, which is leading us to fail our courses, must be stopped — with violence if needs be,” he said.
Mahlangu said they had tried negotiating with the university’s authorities but this had failed, leaving violence as their only recourse.
“If we cannot study because of these limitations, then nobody else should be allowed to,” he said.
He also threatened that they would disrupt all classes at the university.
Mahlangu said the demonstrations would be carried over to all the other universities in the country until “all racists had been removed from the institutions”.
Pasma spokeperson Mametlwe Sebei said they had tried to remain peaceful in their protests but this had proved fruitless.
“We will become violent with the rightwing student groups and will fight the Afrikaner groups with fire and blood.
“We will take violence to all the white students and their lecturers and to any other bodies which do not support our movement and its demands,” he said.
Sebei said the protests had to be continued until everybody had an opportunity for an education “as education is not exclusive”.
An SRC leader, who asked not to be named for fear of being attacked, said they did not support Pasma’s actions.
“We are all in the same boat with the fee hikes, but this is not the way to solve the dispute,” he said.