MAXINE TWADDLE

2012 Student Representative Council (SRC) President Mthokozisi Nkosi was allegedly verbally and physically abused by white security staff at a football match on the University of Pretoria’s sports grounds last Saturday.

Nkosi was allegedly told to “f**k off” by a white security officer at TuksStadium.  As a member of the university’s council Nkosi was able to attend the Absa Premiership match between AmaTuks and Chippa United as a VIP. He was turned away from both the main and VIP entrances of the stadium, even after showing the security guards his ticket. The ticket was a printed black and white copy, and the guards questioned its legitimacy.

Nkosi alleges that he was physically assaulted and told to “go to Wits or TUT and leave Tuks”. He said that he was “man-handled” and has bruises to prove it.

A witness to the incident, who prefers to remain anonymous, confirmed Nkosi’s story. He said that the security guards did not believe that Nkosi’s ticket was valid. According to the witness, who is studying administration at UP, they told Nkosi “not to come with apartheid bullsh*t”.

“The guard called two very large bouncers who came and grabbed him [Nkosi] by the collar and arms and dragged him by his arms … the whole way to the main entrance of LC de Villiers,” the witness told Perdeby.

The witness said it was only when another guard at the main entrance recognised Nkosi and radioed Colin Fouché, Head of Security at UP, that the guards “let go of him and began to apologise”. When examined by a match organiser, the ticket was revealed to be a valid VIP ticket.

Expressing his disappointment in how he was treated, Nkosi said that “it breaks my heart to know that I have defended this institution”. He said that he “now [understands why]students, [and] black students in particular, are so angry”.

Nkosi accused UP of having “no respect for black people and definitely no respect for its students”. He said that he will do whatever he could to expose this.

UP confirmed that “an incident occurred … involving the President of the SRC … and staff of the Department of Security Services”.

In response to enquiries made by Perdeby regarding the allegations, UP said that an independent panel would be appointed to investigate the matter. UP will announce the panel’s recommendations after the completion of the investigation. No further comment was made available.

Nkosi, who has previously criticised security on UP campuses, said that “the incident … vindicates the comment I made earlier this semester when I said security at UP is useless”.

Perdeby was unable to find out whether there were any other similar incidents that have occurred.

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