UCT, students sign peace agreement

2016-11-07 21:03
UCT. (File)

UCT. (File)

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Cape Town - A commission is being set up by the University of Cape Town (UCT) to look into protests that rocked the campus earlier this year, as part of a peace agreement between the university and students.

The agreement, between the university’s executive, Student Representative Council candidates, and other student formations, was signed late on Sunday.

It details how the fallout from protests that happened earlier this year will be dealt with and paves a way forward.

The agreement said specific students, who were subjected to disciplinary tribunals relating to the Shackville protests that rocked the campus in February, would be granted clemency.

Students had erected a shack on UCT’s upper campus as a symbol of the struggle students had with housing and financial exclusions.

The shack was later demolished by security, and some of those involved were suspended, interdicted, or expelled.

According to the agreement, the students to be granted clemency would have to formally acknowledge wrongdoing and "commit not to repeat such action in the future".

Should those granted clemency contravene the university’s code of conduct, the students would be charged in accordance with UCT’s student disciplinary procedures.

Any further campus disruptions involving those granted clemency would be referred to mediators and it would be requested that their clemency be revoked.

The university, according to the agreement, also committed to providing a list of pending internal and external charges against those involved in the campus protests until Sunday.

'TRC' to be set up

READ: UCT will be 'out of time' if campus disrupted again

It would also allow for recommendations to be made on how to deal with the incidents "in the spirit of restorative justice".

The agreement said an Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission, or Shackville Truth and Reconciliation, would be established "with immediate effect".

"The commissioners will begin consulting with various stakeholders to determine the terms of reference, which need to be in place no later than two weeks after they begin their work."

According to the agreement, the commission would also be expected to make recommendations on issues, including institutional culture, transformation, decolonisation, discrimination, identity and disability.

The agreement said a committee had been set up "to develop a protocol for the use of private security".

A draft should be completed by the end of the year.

A rapid response task team, made up of members of UCT’s executive and student representatives, was to be immediately created to monitor the implementation of the agreement.

Read more on:    uct  |  university protests  |  univeristy fees

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