Botho University Gaborone campus was closed yesterday after some students allegedly burnt down a tree and closed the road disturbing vehicles movement by the circle on campus.
Botho University Dean in the Office of External Relations, Golekanye Setume said they decided to close the school after a handful of students started burning a tree and closing the traffic circle within the University, restricting vehicle movements.
“We had many students attending classes but a group of close to 20 students decided to burn a tree and restrict vehicles movement in the school’s traffic circle. We realised that they might endanger our staff and other students who are eager to learn and therefore decided to temporarily close the school till further notice,” he said.
Setume added that they were investigating the matter in order to determine what action could be taken to resolve the matter. However, he pointed out that whatever decision they take will not disadvantage their students.
For his part, the Student Representative Council (SRC) president Kabelo Dikatlholo said things got out of hand last week Thursday when some students burnt a table in the school courtyard. He said when they thought the situation had calmed down, they (SRC) learnt that a group of students burnt a tree near the school car parking lot.
“The students were demonstrating because they said the management had not given them feedback on the accreditation of courses. They
Dikatlholo also pointed out that the University closure inconvenienced many students as they were in the midst of the midterm examinations.
The Botswana Police Service (BPS) spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Witness Boseja told Mmegi that they arrested eight students, five of them females and three males aged 19 to 26 years. He said the students were charged with common nuisance.
“The said students are assisting the police with investigations. We expect them to appear before Court soon where the Judge or Magistrate can determine if they should be granted bail or not. According to the law, we are allowed to detain a person or people for 48 hours,” he said.
He however, dismissed claims that the police assaulted some students. “I am not aware of any students being assaulted yesterday,” he said. Bosija also pointed out that there was a possibility of students being released yesterday.
Meanwhile, the University management recently indicated that they submitted their 59 courses to the Botswana Qualifications Authority and assured students and the public that they had nothing to worry about.