UWC Fees Must Fall denies involvement in computer theft, vandalism

2016-11-16 16:39
As the building burned, about 20 computers were stolen from the Castinga Lab. (Supplied)

As the building burned, about 20 computers were stolen from the Castinga Lab. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - The University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Fees Must Fall movement on Wednesday denied any involvement in the torching of a facility and the theft of computers from a campus laboratory.

The Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technology was set alight in the early hours of Tuesday morning, UWC spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said.

The cost of the damage was still being assessed.

As the building burned on Tuesday, about 20 computers were stolen from the Castinga Lab.

Fees Must Fall spokesperson Onke Lokothwayo said it had played no part in the destruction and theft.

“It was not us who did that. We were shocked ourselves,” she told News24.

“We suspect it may be rogue elements using the shutdown as an opportunity to try these things. We had nothing to do with it.”

Police clashes

READ: UCT, Wits, CPUT and UWC closed - #FeesMustFall protest as it happened

Lokothwayo said the movement was continuing its shutdown of the campus.

Tyhalibongo said exams were underway at off-site venues and were continuing without incident.

“Exam attendance varies from 60% to 90%. All the exams scheduled for last week went well and they are continuing today,” he said.

Students had the choice of writing exams this month or in January 2017.

When exams commenced on Monday, protesting students tried to stop the shuttles transporting other students to the exam venues.

Clashes broke out between police, campus security, and students. A campus vehicle was overturned and graffiti sprayed on buildings.

Protesters threw rocks during confrontations with police at student residences.

Last week, the Education and Residential Services Office was set alight after being refurbished, following an arson attack during protests in 2015.

In September, when a fresh wave of protests started, UWC students submitted a memorandum detailing their demands.

Top of the list was free, quality, black-centred education. They wanted all student debt to be cleared, and registration and application fees scrapped.

Other concerns related to safety and the affordability of accommodation, study materials, and clinics.

Students demanded free sanitary pads and 10GB of free data per month for those living off campus.

Wi-Fi and internet access are already free on campus.

Read more on:    uwc  |  university fees  |  university protests

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