UCT to withdraw charges against students, workers

2015-10-26 19:28
(Picture via Facebook)

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Cape Town - The University of Cape Town (UCT) is in the process of withdrawing charges against students and workers arrested for violating an interdict which the institution initially brought against them.

It is also trying to speak to the National Prosecuting Authority to drop charges against those who stormed Parliament's precinct last week.

"We have... undertaken to make representations to the police and the prosecution authority and to have charges against students and workers withdrawn," UCT Vice Chancellor Max Price said in a statement. 

The National Association of Democratic Lawyers is representing the 23 students and workers arrested for violating the university's interdict. The association's Mustaque Holland said UCT had agreed to withdraw the charges.

"We are going to relay this to the NPA and they have to consent to this," he said.

The group of 23 is scheduled to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Holland said UCT had also made recommendations to the NPA for the charges to be withdrawn against the 29 people involved in the storming of the parliamentary precinct, as the State was the complainant in that matter. The 23, which includes Price's son Illan Price, are also included in the 29.

The six others, including ANC stalwart Reverend Frank Chikane's son Kgotsi, were represented by other lawyers.

The 29 were released on a warning on Thursday and the case was postponed to February 23 next year.

Max Price also said in a statement that the university "set in motion" a process to have the high court lift the interdict.

Holland confirmed that the university's legal representatives were "trying to find a suitable date to approach the court to lift the interdict".

Widespread student demonstrations were sparked two weeks ago when Wits University students blockaded the entrance to the Johannesburg university's campus after the institution indicated it would raise fees by 10.5% for 2016.

The protest eventually spread to several institutions around the country.

Following the widespread action, President Jacob Zuma announced on Friday that there would be 0% increase in fees for 2016.

Read more on:    uct  |  cape town  |  protests  |  education  |  university fees

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