UWC 'rogue elements' lambasted

2015-10-31 21:48
One of the doors in the admin building which was damaged by the protesters. (Supplied UWC)

One of the doors in the admin building which was damaged by the protesters. (Supplied UWC)

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Durban – The Western Cape Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) has condemned the “thuggish behaviour of a few rogue elements” at the University of the Western Cape.

In a statement released on Saturday, PYA, an organisation made up of the ANC Youth League, Young Communist League and Sasco Western Cape – said the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma), Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) and Aluta were not truly contributing to the struggle for students’ rights.

“This is a group of less than 100 pseudo leaders who failed to convincingly mobilise students to vote for them or for their candidates during the SRC elections against Sasco.

“Whilst the democratically elected Sasco-led SRC was in the process of engaging with the university’s management around the legitimate student demands, these criminals started a scourge of vandalism of university property and cowardly violent intimidation of students, particularly members of the PYA. Our hearts go out to the entire student community of UWC, in particular the very young first year students who have been receiving death threats and all kinds of intimation from these hooligans. 

 “We view this as a shameless attempt to undermine the legitimacy of a progressive SRC as these formations have always attempted to reject the authority of the SRC. We view this as an assault on democracy in student governance. The PYA therefore welcomes the stance taken by the Rector and the management of UWC not to engage with these rogue elements who are led in majority by non-UWC students. The Rector and management must continue standing firm on this stance of not giving into hooliganism.”

The statement added: “The PYA welcomes the court interdict by the university against these rogue opportunistic elements and calls upon Saps to beef up its presence at the campus to protect innocent students, in particular those staying in the residences from these thugs.

“We encourage students to return to classes on Monday and prepare for their final examinations. The PYA will avail any form of support and assistance required in ensuring that students perform to the best of their ability.”

News24 previously reported that staff met with protesting students, who wanted to engage with top management and the SRC through a mediator.

However, the executive said that after the chancellor, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, agreed to this, a group of students marched from the student centre to the residences, indicating that they were going to mobilise support. At the residences the security refused them entry, which led to students using bricks, belts, sticks and sjamboks against the security, the executive had said.

Read more on:    sasco  |  ancyl  |  cape town  |  education  |  university fees

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