Anger as 'small group' of protesters go on rampage at UWC

Cape Town - Students at the University of the Western Cape have hit back at "a small group of students" for holding them all to ransom, after protesters went on a rampage on campus on Friday afternoon.

According to a post on the UWC Facebook page, a group of about 30 students carrying sticks and sjamboks wreaked havoc while the rector and his executive met with the SRC.

"A fire was started at Financial Aid this morning, there has been damage to the Student Centre, damage to Res rooms, damage to the School of Government and severe damage to the Admin buildings where the Exec and SRC are now trapped," the post reads.

"The group is saying on social media that they are angry at security 'manhandling' [them]. However, the security, brought in to protect students and university property at staff and student request reported injuries to three of their officers today."

A number of students were upset by the unrest.

"Only 30 students holding the whole campus community hostage! Arrest them, get the army," one commented.

Another stated: "Can’t you guys get a court interdict against these imbeciles, because they are inciting violence and innocent people will further get injured. If you get a court interdict they will be arrested and charged for all the damage they did. That would serve us better, because they seemingly can't use their grey matter."

A student living in residence on campus said: "This is too bloody much now. We had to flee our rooms like criminals and now this is happening. Where is this going to end?"

UWC spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said the university would issue a statement shortly.

Meanwhile, 473 students have already signed an online petition in a vote of no confidence in the current SRC.

According to the document, the SRC wanted to “take sole leadership of the protest whereas it was agreed that it would be a joint-multi-party leadership. Instead, they made it more about politics and chose to politicise the protest instead of unite and join the protest as a student body.” 

The joint decision between the SRC and UWC management on Wednesday in deciding that year-end exams would be postponed to November 9 was also slammed.

“At no point did the SRC make it known to the student body that they were going to meet with UWC management in this respect in order for students to make their grievances known,” the petition reads.

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