UCT students told to end occupation of Bremner building

2015-04-10 13:00
The Rhodes Must Fall occupation movement at the Bremner building at UCT's middle campus. (Paul Herman, News24

The Rhodes Must Fall occupation movement at the Bremner building at UCT's middle campus. (Paul Herman, News24

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Cape Town - UCT students occupying the university’s administrative building as part of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign have been told to vacate the premises following the removal of the Rhodes statue.

In a letter addressed to the students on Friday, the registrar of the university instructed the protesting students to vacate the building by 14:00 on the same day, to allow staff to get back to the business of administration.

The notice was subsequently posted to the Rhodes Must Fall campaign’s Facebook page, which can be seen here.

“The administration has, until now, not acted on the student/staff occupation of the Bremner building which began Friday, 20 March,” the letter read.

“We have not done so in order to allow the process of consultation and decision on the removal of the Rhodes statue to run its course.

“That has now happened and the statue has been removed from the campus. Any consent previously given, tacitly or otherwise is hereby withdrawn.”

The university indicated it would approach the high court for an order compelling the students to leave the building if they ignore the instruction.

The letter also suggested that staff had been ‘harassed’ on occasions by the students, and work had been 'severely disrupted'.

Chumani Maxwele, the student who infamously threw faeces on the Rhodes statue on March 9, told News24 on Friday that he was unaware of the letter, but was on his way to Bremner building to discuss the issue with his peers, where a collective decision would be made.

'Planning meeting'

Rhodes Must Fall campaigners felt one last group meeting was necessary before deciding the appropriate action.

“All comrades please report to Azania House [Bremner building] ASAP,” a post on their Facebook page said.

“We have just been delivered a notice of eviction from Azania House by UCT management. The time given is 2pm today.

“Please spread the word and report to Azania House as soon as possible for a planning meeting.”

Approximately 50-70 students made the decision to occupy UCT’s Bremner building on Friday March 20, in a move to escalate the Rhodes Must Fall campaign.

The controversial Cecil John Rhodes statue has since been removed from UCT's upper campus after a month-long saga.

To read more about the debate surrounding South Africa's national monuments, click here.

Read more on:    uct  |  cape town  |  cecil john rhodes  |  monuments debate

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