CPUT 'positive' academic activity will resume next week

2017-10-14 07:19
A fire at Mount Street near CPUT. (Jenni Evans, News24)

A fire at Mount Street near CPUT. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town – The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) plans to resume "normal institutional activities" on Wednesday, it vice chancellor has said.

This after the institution was closed on Tuesday, following weeks of student protests over student fees, the university's National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) office, and the outsourcing of service personnel.

In a statement on Friday, CPUT acting Vice Chancellor Chris Nhlapo said, following a meeting with students, they were positive that academic activities would be resumed.

He said the safety concerns of parents, staff and students had not fallen on deaf ears, and that management had continued to engage with students to bring an end to the violence.

"Everything possible [is being done] to secure the safety of students and staff, as well as their property and university infrastructure; this extends to stabilising all residences.

"We remain confident that the academic year will be completed successfully and, for that reason, ask all students living in residences not to go home prematurely."

CPUT has been at the centre of several student protests during the last few months, including instances where a workshop was petrol bombed and a staff room torched.

The historic St Mark's Anglican Church in District Six was petrol bombed at the end of September, allegedly by a student protester.

'A tiny band of people who harbour criminal intentions'

The Anglican Diocese of Cape Town criticised the bombing, saying the church was a beacon of hope and had played a pivotal role in the struggle for justice and freedom.

On Tuesday, an external disciplinary process expelled four CPUT, the expulsion is suspended for 12 months.

READ: 'Disruptive' CPUT 4 get suspended expulsion

Ayakha Magxothwa‚ Sivuyise Nolusu‚ Neo Mongale and Lukhanyo Vangqa are accused of disrupting a council meeting in August during continued student protests.

On Thursday, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande condemned the violent protests on CPUT's campuses.

"The sporadic anarchy that we are witnessing at CPUT has got absolutely nothing to do with legitimate issues, such as access and the necessary transformation of education in our country," Nzimande said in a statement.

"This is about a tiny band of people who harbour criminal intentions and who are hell-bent on destroying the lives and future of thousands of students and their families.

"It is completely unacceptable that a few people should continue to hold our nation to ransom, including through violence and the destruction of... infrastructure that we badly need to empower students and the next generation."

Read more on:    cput  |  blade nzimande  |  cape town  |  university protests

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