Slack security at the University of Limpopo’s Turfloop campus has compromised the safety of students.
Firearms and knives are strictly prohibited, but, on Friday, a reporter walked unhindered into the campus, carrying these dangerous weapons. A 36cm-long knife was tied to my leg and hidden in my jeans, while a toy gun was stuck in the back of my pants.
Instead of searching all the visitors, security guards at gate number 2, opposite the Mankweng shopping complex, simply allowed strangers to walk in.
The weapons were shown to the officials at the university’s marketing and communications office immediately after access was granted. The access test was conducted at a time when the university has been in the limelight following a spate of reports about criminal activity on campus.
Early this month, students killed a suspected thug, Lekau Mamabolo, 24, on campus and severely assaulted seven of his friends. The men were assaulted after a student called for help in an alleged robbery that night. The university management said the men were not registered students and emphasised that they had been on campus illegally.
Visiting hours at Turfloop are between 8am and 10pm daily. The attack took place just after midnight. It’s unclear what the men were doing on campus.
But now, the police intend to arrest more than a hundred students and charge them with Mamabolo’s murder. “We have opened a murder charge and we are hoping to make arrests soon,” said Mankweng police spokesman Constable Moses Molepo.
The university has been plagued by endless robberies and rapes.
Last month, an LLB student was stabbed to death outside the campus. Another LLB student, Abram Makane, 25, was shot six times and injured at a university residence last year. After last year’s shooting incident, the university promised to install metal detectors at all entrances, but the devices remained there for less than a month.
On Sunday, university spokesman Kgalema Mohuba pointed the finger at Mafoko Security Services, the company contracted to render security at the campus.
Mohuba said: “As far as I know, those things are still there. But if they have been removed, the security will have to explain.” He said all visitors should be subjected to strict security processes.
Martha Nare, the site manager for Mafoko Security Services, refused to comment.
The Star Africa