Fees Must Fall slams 'thuggery of rogue elements' at CPUT

2016-10-12 15:41
Students on the Bellville campus of CPUT got security guards to join them for their protest march. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Students on the Bellville campus of CPUT got security guards to join them for their protest march. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - The CPUT Fees Must Fall movement on Wednesday distanced itself from the property damage which occurred at its Bellville campus in the early hours of the morning, labelling it "thuggery coming from rogue elements who wish to hijack and appropriate the good name of our genuine struggle".

According to a statement issued on its Facebook page, the group said it was committed to avoiding violence, decrying the arson and vandalism as acts perpetrated "with the express intent of making us lose public sympathy and credibility", saying it was being committed by "charlatans and counter-revolutionaries".

"Fees Must Fall also holds the strong view that the refusal/inability of the Vice Chancellor to engage in meaningful dialogue with the campus community via appropriate structures such as a University General Assembly has allowed both frustration and opportunism to set in," the statement reads.

It said the group had for the past two weeks engaged in peaceful protests, using "non-violent means and strategies" which they plan to continue.

"[The CPUT community] must not be distracted by rogue elements who have been deployed to dilute the credibility and genuineness of our struggle.

"We remain resolute that ours is a principled struggle born out of necessity, nurtured by a love for our people and the belief that we are at the cusp of a brighter future, with free decolonised education ushering us into the era of African knowledge centres."

Burning building

Two security guards were hospitalised after they were allegedly locked in a burning building at the CPUT's Bellville campus around 00:00. Police spokesperson Brigadier Sally de Beer said no arrests had been made yet.

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said the main administration building was pelted with stones before being set alight.

The security office at the main entrance to the campus went up in flames and there was damage to two vehicles.

A building was also torched at the institution's Cape Town campus overnight.

On Tuesday, 19 students were arrested at CPUT's Bellville, Cape Town and Mowbray campuses after clashes with police.

Read more on:    cput  |  university protests  |  university fees

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