Protesting UCT students out on bail

2016-02-17 15:25

Cape Town – Eight University of Cape Town students arrested following violent protests at the institution were released on bail on Wednesday, Western Cape police said. 

They appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court and were released on bail of R1 000 each, Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said. 

Their case was postponed to March 30. 

The university said it intended suspending the group. Vice chancellor Max Price said public order police had been deployed to ensure violence did not flare up again.

Price said students protesting under the #RhodesMustFall banner reacted violently to the institution's request on Tuesday to move a shack they had erected in Residence Road.

He said students invaded residences and kitchens, erected burning barricades, and stole portraits from residences which they set on fire. A car and a shuttle bus were set alight and another bus was stolen. 

Right to a safe environment

“We are determined not to allow a small group of violent protesters prevent 27 000 students and 4500 staff from exercising their right to study and work in a safe environment,” he said.

Acts of criminality and vandalism by protesters had escalated over the last few hours. Campus security had extinguished several fires.

“It is utterly regrettable that a movement that began with such promise and purported to be fighting for social justice matters has now deteriorated into a group that engages in criminality and has only one agenda, namely to close UCT operations down. Their behaviour is utterly unacceptable and can in no way be tolerated.”

The #RhodesMustFall supporters were protesting against what they claimed was the university's lack of residence accommodation for students from poorer backgrounds.

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