WSU students suspended for slaughtering cow

Two Walter Sisulu University students were suspended for allegedly slaughtering a cow at the Mthatha campus.
Two Walter Sisulu University students were suspended for allegedly slaughtering a cow at the Mthatha campus.
Image: File

Two Walter Sisulu University SRC leaders at the Mthatha campus have been suspended for allegedly slaughtering a cow on campus grounds and organising a social event despite a ban on these by management.

SRC president Zuko Mabhoza and deputy secretary Zandise Mbhuthuma are in hot water after they defied the ban and organised a Heritage Day festival on September 21.

They have also been suspended for allegedly breaking into the Nelson Mandela Drive campus auditorium and vandalising the facility and using the venue without authority.

They were suspended on September 25.

However, the two are not taking their suspension lying down with their lawyer, Ayanda Pata, saying the matter will be heard in the Mthatha high court on Tuesday.

The WSU charge sheet, which the Daily Dispatch has seen, reads: “[You] brought and facilitated slaughtering of a live animal, a cow, inside the university, thereby violating a university rule. Page 111 in the 2019 WSU prospectus states that WSU will not allow any slaughtering of animals in any form on any of our campuses. This was a very serious misconduct as it not only violated university rules, but it also violated the Abattoir Hygiene Act of 1992 that states: No persons shall slaughter or cause slaughtering of any animal in the municipal area anywhere else other than at the abattoir, exemption be provided by the minister of agriculture by regulations in terms of section 3(2).”

In a suspension letter, also seen by the Dispatch, WSU rector Dr Lulamile Ntonzima said: “Mr Mabhoza and Mbuthuma will cease to engage in any university-affiliated responsibilities with immediate effect.

“This follows a process of investigation into serious allegations of misconduct that is in direct contravention of the university’s code of conduct.”

Mbuthuma, 25, confirmed a cow had been slaughtered at the event.

“That event was not organised by the SRC structure, it was organised by the ANC Youth League, which is one of the political parties on campus. The suspension should have been directed to the league, not the council members,” he said.

Mbuthuma confirmed that he and Mabhoza were present during the ceremony.

“But I deny allegations that we facilitated the event,” said the fourth-year bachelor of education student.

Mabhoza could not be reached for comment.

ANC Youth League branch secretary Wandile Papani said: “We brought the cow [to campus] as proof to all those who contributed in purchasing the animal. We meant to take it back outside the campus to slaughter it, but students were too excited and slaughtered the cow. We tried to stop them, but they were too many.”

Called for comment, WSU spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo would only say: “You’ve unfortunately received a copy of the suspension letter in this private matter, but I cannot say more at this stage.”

The decision to ban all social events at WSU’s four campuses was taken in July, following the killing of two students and injuring of five at a violence-marred fresher’s braai event on June 1.

Then, vice-chancellor Professor Rob Midgley said the events ban decision was taken by the university council executive at a meeting on June 7.

Midgley had called for an “urgent” establishment of a commission to investigate all aspects surrounding the planning of the braai.

WSU’s SRC and the SA Union of Students immediately opposed the ban and called for it to be lifted.

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