UCT to stay open despite disruptions - Price

2016-10-04 17:00
Max Price (Netwerk24)

Max Price (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - UCT will remain open despite students’ demands that a “TRC” process first be conducted for expelled, suspended and arrested students, vice chancellor Max Price said on Tuesday.

Talks between the university and student leaders broke down on Sunday over the reopening of the university this week, he told reporters in Cape Town.

Student protesters were adamant on Tuesday that the university should remain closed until a Truth and Reconciliation Commission-style hearing into their grievances had been established.

About 200 protesters marched from UCT's upper, middle and lower campuses on Tuesday to interrupt lectures and express their grievances.

Price said the institution had to finish the academic year to avoid "disastrous" consequences, and thus the two processes had to run parallel with one another.

An "institutional reconciliation commission" (ICR) was in the process of being established, he said.

The university meanwhile would support students whose classes had been disrupted by delaying assignment submissions, providing extra classes, and possibly using video lectures.

"It has been another day or two where classes have been disrupted. We will provide catch-up for that," Price told News24.

He was confident they could finish the academic year if the institution got back to “proper working order” by the end of the week.

'Show good will, stop protests'

In February, students erected a shack on upper campus as a symbol of their struggle for student housing and financial exclusions.

Four panelists had been selected to deal with these issues in the ICR, Price continued. He also said the term TRC should be reserved for serious crimes against humanity.

They would invite public submissions into matters including the expulsion of five students, after violence escalated during the shack’s removal.

Price said it was up to students to get the commission up and running.

"I would like it to start next week, but it needs partners. It wouldn't work if we do it alone. If the students for example say they won't participate, we can't get going.

"If the protesting students said 'we'd like to start it next week', then we'd say 'show your goodwill by saying no more protests'. If they said that, we'd be away."


Read more on:    uct  |  max price  |  cape town  |  university fees

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