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Fokothi SRC resigns for fear of police

Sept. 5, 2018 3 min read

3 min read

MASERU - The Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Lerotholi Polytechnic, commonly known as Fokothi, and a parastatal learning institution for technical training, resigned with effect from last Wednesday for “fear of their lives”.

This was disclosed by the former SRC President, Motlatsi 'Mefane, who said they decided to resign because they did not feel safe as the Dean of Student’s Affairs (DSA) was working in collaboration with the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) and they fear that they might be tortured during investigations pertaining to the murder of a new student, Rethabile Mositi. Allegedly, Mositi was forced to drink dirty water several times from the Mohokare River on July 21 this year.

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He said, at first, they helped the police with investigations by giving out names of students who were involved in the incident resulting in the arrest of the students. However, he was quick to point out that, recently, the DSA gave their names to the police on allegations that they knew what transpired and led to Mositi’s death. He said they had hoped that the DSA would protect students, but now that he hands them over to the police, they do not feel safe, “especially with a trend of abuse that people go through while in police custody for questioning,” he alleged.

Commenting on the issue of the strike by the students on Monday, the former SRC Vice President, Moloi Mabusela, said the demonstration was against the management's decision to expel students who were involved in the July murder. “Apart from the 10 students who appeared before court last Monday in relation to Mositi's murder, the school expelled more students even though there were no proper investigations conducted.

He said while students do not condone the killings of other students, expelling students is not the solution. “Since 2009 when killings started, students have been expelled but killings have been continuing. We have proposed that the management works with us to establish the root cause of the killings and find a solution,” he argued. A former member of the SRC, Lehlohonolo Moorosi, suggested that the college needs to make regulations regarding initiation, saying that way, there would be accountability and supervision as the physique of students would be known before the initiation process.

He explained: “The initiation itself is not dangerous, especially since it has been going on since 1905. The only problem is that perpetrators take advantage and use the initiation to carry out their own agendas of killing new students”. The school Registrar, Advocate Hlomohang Majara, said what happened on Monday was not a strike but boycotting of classes by students because there are procedures to follow in order to engage in a strike, adding that the students did not follow due processes.

She indicated that they ordered the students through their representatives to table their issues which among others included being against the expulsion of the students who were allegedly involved in the murder of Mositi. She said once the management has learned the submitted grievances, they will respond.


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