UCT protesters vow to continue occupation of building

2015-04-10 15:14
(Paul Herman, News24)

(Paul Herman, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Watch the historic moment Rhodes fell at UCT

2015-04-09 19:58

After weeks of protests and deliberations, the controversial statue of Cecil John Rhodes was removed from its plinth at the University of Cape Town. Watch the historic moment.WATCH

Cape Town - University of Cape Town (UCT) students involved in the occupation of UCT’s administrative building want to continue their stay at the Bremner building, despite being ordered by university management to vacate the premises on Friday.

UCT student Mbali Matandela told News24 on Thursday that the students involved in the occupation movement, which number approximately 50-70, want to encourage the university to engage with their mandate of transformation.

“We plan to continue the stay because our issues haven’t been met in full,” said Matandela, a student involved in both the Rhodes Must Fall campaign and the occupation movement.

“We want the Mafeje room in Bremner building to continue to be a space for engagement of issues around transformation.”

When asked what the students were still holding out for following the Cecil John Rhodes statue's removal from the campus, Matandela said that the protests were always about addressing transformation at the university.

“The university has set up a transformation council, which is essentially taking the issue away from our mandate,” Matandela continued.

“We’re busy strategising around how to approach the university to extend our stay at Bremner building.”

Notice to vacate

Earlier on Thursday, UCT’s management sent a letter to the protesting students ordering them to vacate the Bremner building by 14:00 on Friday.

The university indicated it would approach the high court for an order compelling the students to leave the building if the instruction was ignored.

In a statement written to UCT staff, students and alumni on Friday, Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price said that the protest remained generally peaceful and dignified, despite the reports of "harassment" by some of the students on occasion.

Price said the university "tolerated" the occupation of the Bremner building in order to allow the decision-making process around the statue’s proposed removal to take its course.

“Our task has been to defend the idea of a university as a space of debate and not to allow the future of the statue to be determined prior to the conclusion of that discussion,” Price said.

“We believe that this deliberative process to engage UCT stakeholders on the issue of the Rhodes statue and on wider issues of transformation at UCT was successful.”

Had the university brought the SA Police Services into the Bremner building, he continued, it would have ‘escalated the conflict’ before a consensus could be reached.

Transformation

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town, meanwhile, called for the energy behind the Rhodes Must Fall campaign to be harnessed to achieve "real transformation".

"The campaign against symbols of the injustice of our past, along with service delivery protests and public outrage over corruption, reflect the anger of South Africans at the inequalities that continue to plague us,” he said in statement on Friday.

"We must harness the energy being poured into protest into rigorous self-examination and action to expand the current campaigns into a creative, society-wide drive for real transformation.”

Read more on:    uct  |  max price  |  cecil john rhodes  |  cape town  |  transformation  |  monuments debate

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
53 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.