The chairman of the University of South Pacific (USP) Federal Council, Whitlam Saeni has made a public apology after allegations that he had assaulted a student journalist last week.
Reports reaching the paper stated that Saeni has assaulted Wansolwara (USP student newspaper) editor Sonal Singh over a news report on the auditing of one of its affiliated body’s finances.
However, the USP student boss clarified in a statement through the social media saying that the allegation of an assault was meant to be a joke but was over exaggerated.
“There was no assault at all!
“I am sorry to the journalist, he doesn’t know our culture of jokes and he took it too much.
“There was no bodily harm, physical contact and injury (meaning of assault) to Sonal,” Saeni posted.
This paper understands that the allegation labeled against Mr Saeni has gone viral in the social media as well as both the local media in the country and Fiji.
Mr Saeni in his apology statement goes on to say sorry to the public as well as the Solomon Islands student studying in Fiji.
“I’m sorry if the public has taken me wrong with the allegation.
“I learnt my lesson I should not do marshall arts jokes to anyone anymore,” the statement reads.
He further stated that the sort of joke he did is normal to everybody that knows him well.
“I do this often, it was kind of a habit and others know my playful attitude and it’s not new to them.
“Am very charismatic,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Saeni said he is sad that the assault allegation against him has been heard in the world and the region.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA