Interim order allows Maxwele to attend UCT classes

2015-07-22 18:35
Chumani Maxwele protests near the Cecil Rhodes statue at UCT. (Twitter)

Chumani Maxwele protests near the Cecil Rhodes statue at UCT. (Twitter)

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Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court on Wednesday granted an interim order allowing University of Cape Town student Chumani Maxwele to attend classes, his lawyer Barnabas Xulu said.

“The interim order basically grants him the right to attend classes and tutorials. The most important thing is he is able to register.

“The main application is now focusing on saying that the disciplinary hearing against him cannot take place without having exhausted the Equality Court, which is now pending.”

Maxwele, 30, was suspended from the university in May following an altercation with a lecturer over study space on campus during a public holiday.

He said that on May 1 he went to the mathematics building - where he usually studied - and asked the lecturer if she would let him in.

After a series of events, he claimed the lecturer had called him a "savage" and he laid a complaint of racism against the staff member.

The university said Maxwele had insisted on being allowed into the building after being informed it was a public holiday, and that lecture theatres and classrooms were locked.

Of the version of events the university put forward, one of the claims was that he raised his voice at the lecturer, allegedly stating she was "a white woman who takes all the rights of the black students" and that "the statue fell; now it's time for all whites to go".

He infamously threw human waste on the university's Cecil John Rhodes statue on March 9 and was part of the Rhodes Must Fall Movement which protested successfully to have the statue removed.

Xulu said his client strongly believed that his suspension from university activities violated his right to the provision of education. 

Argument in the main application was provisionally set down for August 3, while a provisional date for the Equality Court matter was September 15.

“The Equality Court matter is that he was treated unfairly by UCT with this form of discrimination. It also involves the lecturer. We are saying that what the lecturer did was to profile my client.”

UCT spokesperson Pat Lucas said they were first waiting for information from the court before they could be in a position to comment.

Read more on:    uct  |  chumani maxwele  |  cape town  |  monuments debate

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