Port Elizabeth - Students from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) have on Friday, posted a number of threats on social media that they would “braai and eat” the zebras who graze nearby on the university’s nature reserve if management did not meet their demands.
The threat follows NMMU announcing that operations would resume on Friday, with classes resuming on Monday. Students were angry that they were not informed prior to management making a decision to re-open campuses.
Angry students armed with rocks and sticks protested on Friday at the university’s North Campus entrance. Some NMMU staff including lecturers stood in solidarity with students protesting for free tertiary education.
In a voice note circulated on social media, a student from the #FeesMustFall movement said that management were “taking advantage of student discipline” whilst protests were ongoing.
“We have been disciplined, we have been listening and we have not done anything to their property as yet, and I don’t think we will because we can think further than that,” the student said in the voice note.
“This is quite arrogant, showing us they can run operations as they feel, we don’t have a say. We told them in a meeting that we are the new management of NMMU and they must not come and tell us when to go back to class because we haven’t decided when we want to go back, I mean the only way we are going to go back to class is when they give us free education.”
The recording goes onto highlight that NMMU management have “done nothing to commit to students’ internal demands”.
“I think it’s time to go take those zebras, capture those zebras. Everyday we take one zebra and we will tell management if you don’t do what we are telling you, we will deal with these zebras accordingly Amandla,” the student continued.
A number of other posts and memes show students intended that zebras should be captured and the meat braaied.
NMMU spokesperson, Zandile Mbabela responded to the so called ‘zebra threats’ and said that it was in all probability a “tongue and cheek joke”.
“The zebra heard on our reserve have a number of babies right now, so are particularly protective. Anyone who tries to approach them right now will be putting themselves in danger. Our conservation officer [on duty] is aware of the threat,” said Mbabela.African News Agency