Students march to Parliament, but arrive too late for mini budget

2017-10-25 18:45

Cape Town – About 150 university students marched to the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon where Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba was delivering his medium-term budget speech.

But by the time they got there, the minister had already completed his speech.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) students demanded that President Jacob Zuma release the Fees Commission report, which he received at the end of August.

The commission investigated the funding of higher education in the country.

READ: 7 UFS students arrested, held in police van for 4 hours

But their efforts came to nought because the day's proceedings had already been concluded.

"We came too late; we missed the speech," a student, who wished not to be named, told News24.

Police escorted students down Plein Street towards the Grand Parade, where they dispersed.

On Wednesday morning, UCT chairperson Seipati Tshabalala said the march to Parliament was cancelled due to safety concerns.

She, however, added that the situation remained dynamic and protesters could decide later to proceed.

The protesters disrupted classes on UCT's upper campus and medical campus before heading to Parliament.

They disrupted several tests and lectures as they went from faculty to faculty to try and "shut down" the campus.

Several fire extinguishers were set off during the chaos.

UCT said it was forced to hire private security officials because of the ongoing disruptions.

"This is a decision that has not been taken lightly, but one that has been fundamentally informed by health and safety considerations for the staff and student community of UCT," the university said in an email to students.

Tshabalala was shocked by the announcement and said that the university promised to never bring private security back onto the campus.

"What does the university expect them [the private security] to do? We've been peaceful," she said.

Read more on:    uct  |  cput  |  cape town  |  protests

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