Parliamentary committee condemns UCT violence

Durban – Parliament's higher education portfolio committee on Thursday condemned ongoing violence at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Committee chairperson Yvonne Phosa said in a statement that while they sympathised with the students' plight, violence was not the solution.

"While we accept that the erection of a shack at UCT's main campus symbolises the desperation for student accommodation at campuses across the country, violence and damage to property have no place at our campuses. This translates to lawlessness."

On Monday, students erected a shack on Residence Road and cordoned off an area, calling it Shackville.

Their actions were intended to highlight accommodation shortages in residences, which they said did not affect white students. They claimed that black students were being treated badly.

Eight individuals were arrested, one of whom was not a student, after the busts of Jan Smuts and Maria Emmeline Barnard Fuller were spray-painted red, and art removed from buildings and set alight.

They were released on bail on Wednesday afternoon and the case was postponed to March 30.

Phosa said: "We appeal to the department to assist universities to prioritise and speedily address the issue of student accommodation challenges and ensure that residence allocations do not give a perception that white students receive preferential treatment," Phosa said.

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