UCT students, workers to appear in court

2015-10-20 19:44
(A protesting UCT student is pulled into a police van. (@MabhidaMartins, Twitter)

(A protesting UCT student is pulled into a police van. (@MabhidaMartins, Twitter)

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WATCH: Protesting UCT students tell Mmusi Maimane to leave

2015-10-20 13:51

DA leader Mmusi Maimane met with protesting UCT students on Tuesday; watch as a group of protesters shouts for Maimane to leave campus.WATCH

Cape Town - University of Cape Town (UCT) students and workers who barricaded roads at the institution will appear in court next week.

The 23 - 20 students and three workers - were arrested on Tuesday morning for contravening a court order, contravening the Hearings Act, contravention of the Road Traffic Act and hindering and obstruction of police.

This was according to Captain Frederick van Wyk, who spoke to journalists after a mass of students gathered at the Rondebosch police station off Main Road.

He said the group of 14 men and 9 women were going to be released on a warning ahead of their appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court next Wednesday (October 28).

"Police will be carefully monitoring the situation going forward."

Up to 500 students and workers marched between campuses in Rondebosch, Mowbray and Rosebank from about 06:00 to collect more protesters, including workers who were behind closed gates.

The crowd blocked Main Road at times, forcing cars to come to a halt. A police van and traffic cops escorted them before they made their way to the police station.

White students form 'human shield'

One of the student leaders told the gathered protesters at the station it would be better for the students to be charged and released as they had a better chance of fighting the matter in court. This as students demanded that police release their colleagues or they would storm the station.

White students formed a "human shield" at the gate of the police station after their peers urged them to protect them.

"We know how the police work. Can our white allies please move to the front? We need them to ask the police to release our comrades and ask to be arrested," a leader said.

Around 15 officers in full riot gear stood behind the gate.

Students of all races took part, as well as much older workers. 

Although leaders sometimes disagreed on where to go next, the march was quite organised. Water and oranges were handed out at random stops.

A few students in front of the station even asked officers to pass a black bag through the fence, as they wanted to clean up the bottles, fruit peels and mess on the floor.

Students dispersed after leader Chumani Maxwele promised them the police would release their comrades in the next few hours and that they would be delivered to Bremner House. 

'This is not a fight between students'

Students wanted to know how long this would take and were told it could take up to three hours to process. 

Maxwele told them the police were understaffed and didn’t have the experience or capacity to deal with processing the arrested students and workers. 

DA leader Mmusi Maimane tried to speak to students at one of the campuses, but was booed.

Students told him to "fok-off" and not take advantage of the situation. Maimane said he did not care about the Sasco agenda, and he was there for Daso [DA Student Organisation].

"This is not a fight between students, but against the government that is not addressing exorbitant fee increases and the chronic underfunding of higher education institutions and NFSAS."

He said all students across SA universities wanted to know where Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande was during the protests.

Read more on:    uct  |  da  |  blade nzimande  |  mmusi maimane  |  cape town  |  university fees

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