UCT classes disrupted as protesting students call for 'TRC'

2016-10-04 13:55

Cape Town - Some classes were halted at the University of Cape Town on Tuesday as protesting students called on management to agree to a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) before resuming academic activities.

About 200 students marched from UCT's upper campus to middle campus in an attempt to interrupt lectures.

Student leaders asked lecturers to dismiss their classes, saying the university should not be open while it had not agreed on a date for the disciplinary hearings of suspended, arrested and expelled students.

Two lectures in the Beattie Building and Chris Hani building respectively were both brought to an early end after lecturers dismissed their students following the interruption.

The protesting students eventually made their way to UCT's Bremner Building, where they read out their grievances. 

"We all want to go back to school. It's not 80% or 90%, as [vice chancellor] Max Price said, it's 100%," student leader Athabile Nonxupa told the crowd outside the building.

"But we want to go back with our five expelled comrades. We need to finish the TRC process first."

Nonxupa said students were not the only ones who needed to be exonerated by the process, and that Price needed to account for some of his actions as well.

Private security presence

A number of students told News24 that talks with management had stalled on Sunday. Since then, no progress had been made and they felt aggrieved that the university had opened on Monday.

There was a large private security presence on UCT's upper and middle campuses on Tuesday. Security did not engage with the students, but only observed.

Security guards left the entrance of Bremner Building when students arrived and stood aside for the gathering protesters.

Students sat down in the middle of the road as Nonxupa addressed them.

They left for UCT's lower campus around noon. Management did not address them.

UCT was due to hold a press conference at 13:00 regarding the eight students arrested between Monday and Tuesday morning on charges of intimidation.

Six of the eight have since been released from Claremont police station.

Read more on:    uct  |  cape town  |  university protests  |  education  |  university fees

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