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Unisa plays political referee

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Julius Malema Unisa pulled the plug on a planned Academic and Professional Staff Association (Apsa) meeting, scheduled to be held at the ZK Matthews Hall, due to concerns over the meeting turning political. Julius Malama was scheduled to address the meeting, but the university cancelled the event less than 24 hours before it was slated to begin.

In a way, Unisa's decision turned out to be prophetic, as Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and ANC supporters clashed outside the hall. Both sides accused each other of instigating the violence in which at least 3 people were injured.

Phenyo Butale from the Freedom of Expression Institute stated that cancelling an event that presented an opportunity for debate amounted to silencing participants in the discussion. But Unisa spokesman Martin Ramotshela stated that the decision had nothing to do with Mr. Malema's appearance and the decision was made purely in the interest of securing the safety of university property, staff and students.