UCT, CPUT march to Parliament cancelled

2017-10-25 13:50
UCT exam venues have been disrupted. (YouTube screen grab)

UCT exam venues have been disrupted. (YouTube screen grab)

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Cape Town - A march to Parliament by University of Cape Town (UCT) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) students was cancelled on Wednesday morning over concerns for the safety of the students, UCT student representative council (SRC) president Seipati Tshabalala said. 

"We just can't risk anybody's safety. Police promised to retaliate, the city promised to retaliate - we just can't risk it," Tshabalala told News24. 

"Maybe if we had more resources; if we had the assistance of the university's Jammie buses [student buses] it might have made a difference, but the university refused."

READ: UCT, CPUT students to descend on Parliament over Fees Commission report

She said the SRC was asked to delay a march to Parliament by other university campuses until they had launched shutdowns of their own. 

Tshabalala said the light rain in the Cape Town CBD did not deter students from protesting. 

The UCT SRC is calling on President Jacob Zuma to release the Fees Commission report which he received at the end of August. 

Tests disrupted, lectures cancelled

The SRC, whose term is set to end by week's end, on Tuesday promised to disrupt academic activities until a 0% fee increase is announced. 

It alleged that UCT is proposing a fee increase of between 8% and 10% which the university subsequently denied. 

READ: UCT lectures disrupted, students consider march on Parliament

On Wednesday morning, tests were disrupted and lectures cancelled as UCT students went from faculty to faculty trying to "shut down" the campus. 

Several fire extinguishers were set off in an attempt to disrupt academic activity. 

In an email to students, UCT said it was forced to hire private security 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 email read. 

Tshabalala was outraged by the announcement.

"The university promised to never bring back those people [private security] to the campus.

"What does the university expect them to do? We've been peaceful."

At CPUT, spokesperson Lauren Kansley said the institution's campuses were "operational today and work and classes continue".

She said no disruption to academic activity was reported.

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

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