Student’s suspension not related to protests - UCT

2015-05-15 11:30
Chumani Maxwele protests near the now-removed Cecil Rhodes statue at UCT. (Twitter)

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

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Cape Town - The University of Cape Town has distanced itself from Chumani Maxwele’s claims that his suspension from the university is related to his involvement in the Rhodes Must Fall campaign.

In a statement released on Thursday, the university confirmed it had suspended a student pending a disciplinary hearing following an incident involving a member of staff on May 1, 2015.

UCT media spokesperson Pat Lucas told News24 on Friday that its policy was not to release the name of any student involved in internal disciplinary proceedings.

The student is alleged to have intimidated, harassed, threatened and racially abused a member of staff.

Maxwele, who confirmed to News24 on Monday that the student in question was him, has disputed the series of events, claiming his suspension is "political".

He told News24 on Friday that he would be appealing the suspension.


In Thursday's statement, UCT's Lucas stressed that the matter was not related to any protest action undertaken by the student in question during the Rhodes Must Fall campaign.

“It has come to our attention that the student has revealed the case to the media and is claiming that he is being charged because of his involvement in protest actions in the last weeks," Lucas said.

“This is regrettable and inaccurate. The suspension follows an unrelated, isolated incident and this occurrence is unrelated to any protest action on campus.

“UCT respects the right of all students and staff members to align with any organisation represented on campus.”

On Monday, Maxwele, who gained notoriety for throwing human waste on the now removed Cecil John Rhodes statue that stood on UCT’s upper campus, accused the university of using administrative laws to deal with political problems.

"It's a matter of politics," he told News24.

"We [are] dealing with a political problem at UCT. We are dealing with transformation... [and] they are intimidating us."


Maxwele confirmed that he had attended a disciplinary tribunal on Monday, which was postponed to Wednesday.

He claimed that a lecturer had called him a "savage" and he laid a complaint of racism against the staff member, describing it as a “very traumatic incident”.

The terms of the suspension, which took effect from Thursday until Sunday, 19 July 2015, would still allow him to write his exams.

The suspension will be dropped upon either his acquittal, or the implementation of any sentence imposed on him by a tribunal.

To read both UCT's and Maxwele's version of events, click here.

Read more on:    uct  |  chumani maxwele  |  cecil john rhodes  |  cape town  |  education

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