Union warns of mayhem

Unisa vice-chancellor Professor Puleng LenkaBula. Photo: Supplied

Unisa vice-chancellor Professor Puleng LenkaBula. Photo: Supplied

For only R200, young, vagrant drug addicts desperate for money for their next hit – known as nyaope boys – were available for hire to molest and sjambok women members of staff at Unisa.


This was alleged by Thembani Baloyi, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) branch secretary at the university, in a leaked audio recording that City Press obtained this week.

Baloyi was addressing protesting workers affiliated with the union at the university’s main campus in Pretoria earlier in the week.

Unisa has been embroiled in a dispute with the union since March.

The disagreement is over salary increases and the suspension of five Nehawu members, who were allegedly at the centre of a strike.

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What seemed to have irked Baloyi was Unisa’s decision to implement a no work, no pay rule for days in March when striking workers failed to perform their duties.

In the recording, Baloyi alleged that the Unisa management had implemented the rule without informing the affected employees.

Neither Baloyi nor Unisa had responded to requests for comment by the time of going to print.

Nehawu national spokesperson Lwazi Nkolonzi said the union was still investigating the matter and a statement would be issued after its probe had been finalised.

Nyaope Boys 

In the recording, Baloyi could be heard saying:

“You must tell them: ‘It might not be Baloyi, but there are a lot of nyaope boys who want the R200. They’re going to come and molest you.

“These [are] things we’re going to do to them and not care, because people are putting our lives in danger without caring. We’re going to make an example [of them] next week. There’s going to be gender-based violence in this institution next week. You’ll see and we won’t care. You’ll hear that a nyaope boy sjambokked a woman coming to work,” he said.

Baloyi added that the cars belonging to staff members would be torched, including that of Vuyo Peach, a professor of law and Unisa’s head of legal services, who was a member of the team dealing with strike-related matters.

Baloyi said:

We can’t laugh with people who’re molesting us. We can’t continue to greet people who’re making our lives difficult. We need to start showing them we’re not playing; we’re serious. Unless we’re here, we are playing. Other people must be moered [assaulted] and we must agree that, starting from Monday, a [working person] who wants to come inside must know that they’re doing it at their own risk.

“Come Monday, whether I work with you or I don’t work with you, either we’re going to stone you [or] sjambok you, [or] petrol-bomb your car, but people must know that we’re not going to play. The police must come and arrest me.”

Plan to collapse UNISA

Baloyi also alleged that foreign nationals were being deployed to Unisa to collapse the university.

He cited Unisa vice-chancellor Professor Puleng LenkaBula, who is referred to on the university’s website as a South African “of South African and Lesotho descent”, as among those who allegedly did not care about black South Africans.

“The vice-chancellor kele kwerekwere [is a foreign national] and has no time for loving a South African. Lesotho might be closer to us, but it isn’t South Africa. We must understand that, battle comrades. We must understand that we’re not being [given] favours. We come [here] and earn a salary. And there are people who [are] brought here in order to make sure that they collapse the university. Rena [we’re] busy licking their a*ses when they’re collapsing us,” he was heard saying in the recording.

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Baloyi also alleged that there were staff members who were betraying striking workers.

“We’re having people from assignments and exams going to work. Hee batho ba modimo [God’s people]. We’re seriously under siege … They’re busy running to work when they should be strengthening the union so that the person who’s collapsing the university leaves.

“We’re having people … acting as if they were the crème de la crème. We all have problems, there’s no person [who’s better than the next person]. There’s no person who sh*ts cheese here. We must agree, comrades, that we’re all under siege,” Baloyi said in the recording.

City Press understands that Peach has opened a criminal case against Baloyi, who is allegedly on the run. Details of the case had not been confirmed by the police by the time of going to print.