By ZWELETHU DLAMINI | 2019-03-24
Students at the University of Eswatini (UNESWA) are still reeling in shock after a lecturer from the institution beat a pregnant student in their full view on Wednesday afternoon.
According to students who witnessed the incident, the lecturer violently pulled the student’s hair-piece which fell to the ground while questioning her about their misunderstanding. The well-known lecturer is said to have also wrestled with the student trying to grab her phone and keys.
In her defence, the female student is said to have bitten the lecturer’s hand before she screamed, drawing the attention of other students near the commerce building. The students came to her rescue while she ran to seek refuge at the tutor’s office. Security officers and students who were also drawn to the scene by the screams confirmed the matter, however, giving different versions on the bone of contention. Some alleged that the duo quarrelled after the female student informed the lecturer that she would no longer continue with the relationship they had following that she was now pregnant with her boyfriend’s child.
According to this version, this did not sit well with the lecturer who demanded that the student should bring back everything that he had ever given her, including money.
“She then raised the alarm when the lecturer grabbed the keys and the phone, presumably because she thought he was going to take everything from her house,” said one of the students who preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation. Another student who witnessed the incident said the argument was about the pregnancy of the girl which seemed to have irked the lecturer who could not control his temper and demanded that the female student should pay him back.
The student confirmed that the colleague was pregnant and she was adamant that this was the source of the confrontation between her and the lecturer. Interviewed at UNESWA on Thursday, the lecturer confirmed that there was a misunderstanding between him and the pregnant student. He said, however, the confrontation was between him, the student and her boyfriend.
The lecturer was quick to add that he had already resolved the misunderstanding with the student’s boyfriend and both parties did not want the matter to be publicised. He denied that the student had to be rescued by others and that he was in a relationship with her save to say that he had loaned her some money. “The student borrowed money from me, but I would be happy if this matter is not publicised in the media. But I know that this is your business. I do want to tell you what happened on condition of anonymity. Secondly, myself, the student together with her boyfriend sorted the matter yesterday (Thursday),” he said, before calling the student’s boyfriend telling him he was being interviewed on the matter.
Both the lecturer and the boyfriend pleaded that the matter should not be publicised, saying the reporter must inform the students who reported the matter that it has been resolved.
The lecturer said the boyfriend was dragged in the matter as he was the guardian of the student and had believed that during the squabble the student’s cellphone broke and wanted him (the lecturer) to fix it.
He said the boyfriend then came to him on Thursday and the student told him that the phone had already been damaged before the misunderstanding and they smoked a peace pipe.
Attempts to get comment from the student proved futile as she said she was in class when she was called yesterday morning and promised to be in a position to talk about the matter after an hour.
When she was called after the hour, her phone rang unanswered. This continued for the better part of the day.
Matter swept under carpet by UNESWA
Despite that the incident happened in broad daylight and drew the attention of students who were left questioning their safety at the hands of lecturers, the matter is apparently being kept under wraps at UNESWA.
The student’s affairs office had not been made aware of the matter by Friday afternoon as it had not been reported.
The full report on what transpired on the day had not been completed and the office of the students counselling had tried in vain to get details of the matter to provide counselling and medical attention to the student following the reports that she was pregnant.
“The social work office hasbeen looking for the student but could not locate her as the matter was seemingly being watered down and kept secret despite that it was reported to the tutors office where the student sought refuge while under attack,” said a source close to the matter.
Similarly, Acting Assistant Registrar Nathie Maseko seemed to have been in the dark about the matter and only learnt of it from this from this publication. This is believed to have been due to the fact that he had not yet been appraised about it. When sought for comment, Maseko requested not to comment, reitering that he had not yet received anything formal on the matter.
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