UCT extends suspension of activities as student protest grows

2016-09-20 13:18
Students and workers hold a mass meeting at UCT to demand that students who were suspended, interdicted or expelled for #feesmustfall related protests be allowed to return immediately. (Jenna Etheridge, News24, file)

Students and workers hold a mass meeting at UCT to demand that students who were suspended, interdicted or expelled for #feesmustfall related protests be allowed to return immediately. (Jenna Etheridge, News24, file)

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Cape Town - UCT student protesters made their way through empty lecture halls at the institution on Tuesday morning after the university decided to suspend classes.

UCT announced on social media that classes, lectures and tutorials were suspended for Tuesday and Wednesday, advising students to check its website for updates.

The students made their way through upper campus, with their numbers growing along the way.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, police warned about 30 students blockading the road leading to upper campus with two canoes, a car, a bench and a tree branch that they were obstructing a public road and would face "procedure" should they not remove the objects.

The students, in turn, demanded a court order and remained seated before making their way to the lecture halls.

No clashes with police were reported.

Student leaders are calling for the university to reinstate students who had been suspended, interdicted or expelled following protests against fee increases.

They also demand a "Shackville" truth and reconciliation commission to be held within the year.

In February students erected a shack on UCT's upper campus as a symbol of the struggle for student housing and against financial exclusion. The university’s security guards demolished the shack.

There has been a nationwide call for students to shut down universities following the announcement by higher education Minister Blade Nzimande that the department recommends a 2017 fee increase capped at 8% for those who can afford it.

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

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