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Varsity Cup rugby match between FNB Shimlas and FNB NMMU Madibaz disrupted
2016-02-21

State of our campuses #7

The Varsity Cup match between the FNB Shimlas and FNB NMMU Madibaz, which took place on 22 February 2016 at Xerox Shimla Park on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS), was interrupted in the 17th minute when a group of protesters moved onto the field to disrupt the game, which was already in progress.
 
The rugby players of both teams, as well as the match officials, immediately cleared the field as the protesters moved across the field towards the halfway line. Members of the UFS Protection Services gathered around the protesters, but were outnumbered. After a few minutes, spectators ran onto the field. The protesters were chased off the field and beaten by the spectators. Injured persons were treated by medical personnel. It is clear at this time that both the protesting group and the spectators included non-students in their ranks.
 
The senior leadership of the UFS condemns in the strongest terms possible the violence against the protesters; nobody has the right to take the law into their own hands. An urgent investigation is underway, using footage from the event, and no stone will be left unturned to identify those who acted violently, whether students or not.


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