UCT adapts Maxwele's suspension order

2015-07-27 18:00
Chumani Maxwele

Chumani Maxwele

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Cape Town - UCT varied the suspension order of student Chumani Maxwele to allow him to attend new courses he signed up for. This was subsequently made an order of the court, it said on Monday.

University spokesperson Pat Lucas said Maxwele’s registration was in place from the start of the year and he had recently added two courses.

“He did so quite independently of the negotiation between counsel or the order of court.

“Following an application by Mr Maxwele, his suspension order was varied by the vice chancellor’s nominee to allow him to attend classes. This was subsequently made an order of court.”

The matter was in the Western Cape High Court last week.

Lucas said the deputy registrar, who acted as the vice chancellor’s nominee, had the right to withdraw this permission for good reasons, independently of the court.

Attempts to reach Maxwele’s lawyer, Barnabas Xulu, were unsuccessful.

Xulu said last week that the interim order granted his client the right to attend classes and tutorials.

“The main application is now focusing on saying that the disciplinary hearing against him cannot take place without having exhausted the Equality Court, which is now pending.”

Maxwele, 30, who is studying political science, was suspended from the university in May following an altercation with a lecturer over study space on campus during a public holiday.

He said that on May 1 he went to the mathematics building - where he usually studied - and asked the lecturer if she would let him in.

After a series of events, he claimed the lecturer had called him a "savage" and he laid a complaint of racism against the staff member.

The university said Maxwele had insisted on being allowed into the building after being informed it was a public holiday, and that lecture theatres and classrooms were locked.

Of the version of events the university put forward, one of the claims was that he raised his voice at the lecturer, allegedly stating she was "a white woman who takes all the rights of the black students" and that "the statue fell; now it's time for all whites to go".

He infamously threw human waste on the university's Cecil John Rhodes statue on March 9 and was part of the Rhodes Must Fall Movement which protested successfully to have the statue removed.

Xulu said last week that his client strongly believed that his suspension from university activities violated his right to the provision of education. 

Read more on:    uct  |  chumani maxwele  |  cape town  |  monuments debate

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