SAPS in the Free State have confirmed that charges of kidnapping and robbery are being investigated after EFF student leader Tshepo Kamvelihle Goba alleged he was abducted and tortured a day before the party’s Student Command’s Third National Assembly that took place between 12 and 14 July at the University of the Free State.
In a statement posted to his Facebook page, Goba claimed he was abducted from outside the SRC building by about 15 masked men.
The men, Goba claimed, were driving a white Toyota Quantum, which had been parked with its doors open. Eight men alighted, said Goba, and approached him. As he “retreated”, the abductors allegedly grabbed him by the throat, while others lifted and forced him into the vehicle.
Goba claimed the abductors drove him around Bloemfontein pinned between the seats. The men then allegedly kicked, punched and slapped him. Goba also claimed the men threatened him in Sepedi and accused him of being “paid by the ANC”.
Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, provincial head of corporate communication and liaison for the SAPS in the Free State, confirmed to Daily Maverick that charges of kidnapping and “common robbery” were being investigated.
Makhele said the incident had been reported to the Park Road SAPS and was alleged to have occurred on Friday 12 July at the University of Free State in front of the SRC office.
“As per report of the complainant, he alleged that he was visiting his girlfriend when a Toyota Quantum stopped in front of the offices where he was standing. Twelve men came out of the minibus,” said Brigadier Makhele.
Makhele said Goba alleged he had been assaulted and robbed of a cellphone, an undisclosed amount of money and his sandals. He had injuries to his ribs, left leg and abdomen.
“No one has been arrested for both cases, and our investigations continues.”
In his public statement, Goba claimed the abductors beat and robbed him, then left him in an open space. He began walking when the men in the vehicle returned.
“They bundled me into the Quantum once more, this time asking who from the provinces of the Student Command are on my slate. I called out random names. They then took me to the [Park Road] police station, opened a case against me and threatened that should I be seen anywhere close to the University of Free State I will be arrested.
“Their faces were now open, and they had the confidence of the police, even intimating in front of them that, ‘You are not a member of the EFF, we will treat you like an enemy.’”
Goba said he had lodged charges on Friday 12 July, “because many of them I can point them directly as many of them are unemployed Fighters that we meet every day in organisational mass work.”
This is not the first occasion that Goba has made headlines. In June 2017, a medical student at Wits lodged charges of assault at the Hillbrow police station against Goba, who was at the time a member of the EFF Student Command at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
In that instance, the medical student, who was also an EFF member, used Facebook to detail her alleged “chronically abusive relationship with Tshepo Kamvelihle Goba”.
In July 2018, Goba was involved in an altercation with EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee at the party’s headquarters in Braamfontein. Gardee allegedly punched Goba after cornering him in a lift.
In April 2019, Goba disrupted his graduation at UJ, taking to the stage and accusing the institution of racism. Goba was due to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in humanities.
Proceedings for the election of the new EFF students’ leadership at the University of the Free State at the weekend took a turn after a student nominated Goba, resulting in Gardee calling for Goba to be removed from the venue. The incident was recorded.
In his Facebook statement, Goba claimed that students from KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape had been “on the receiving end of violence” from the DOR (Defenders of the Revolution), whom Goba accused of being “a regressive bloc of unemployed, Pedi dominated, men and women, not paid, members of the EFF who are tasked to beat up other members of the EFF”.
In 2018, a Soweto student leader, Mphahlele Phasoane Mpho, who described himself as the EFF chair of the UJ Soweto Campus Student Command, accused the DOR of firing live ammunition at EFF members in response to the stoning of EFF leader Julius Malema’s vehicle.
“The DOR that was instructed by Julius came and nearly killed our people. When Hitler fell during his times, it was because of dictatorship. Tonight we survived. We dodged bullets from Malema’s Military,” Mpho posted on Facebook.
Mpho later posted, “Mme Winnie Mandela died too early. Only a few months after, his child misbehaves. This shows the hypocrisy of inspiration. If Malema is able to shoot at EFF members, what can he do to the whole country if he is president?”
Goba, in his post, said the DOR was used, “to suppress anyone who dares says anything opposed to leadership. Afrikan (sic) students from Western Cape, KZN, were beaten up, their buses stoned, female comrades harassed and wantonly held vaginas because they might be hiding petrol bombs and the like.”
Daily Maverick’s request for comment to EFF Free State chair Mandisa Makesini on Monday had not been answered at the time of publication. Daily Maverick’s request to Goba to comment on his claims and why he believes he was targeted were also not responded to at the time of writing. DM
"All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies." ~ John Arbuthnot