UWC a 'prisoner of war camp' - student

2015-11-12 19:46
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - University of the Western Cape (UWC) students spoke out on Thursday about their trauma following clashes with police and their attempts to resolve an impasse.

Kamva Rubulana compared the UWC of the last two weeks to “a prisoner of war camp”.

He believed the violence that played out on campus on Wednesday would never have happened if management and students had worked towards speaking “as one voice”.

“Us, as this so-called born-free generation, have been labelled 'the lost generation'. It hurts me when this lost generation is trying to find their direction and they are getting called names and all ridiculous manner of things.”

“What must these people do now? Must they wander for 40 years in the desert?”

Addressing a media briefing in Bellville, he rubbished claims students were “stupid” or trying to worm their way out of writing exams.

“Do you think these peopl ... are so afraid or want to avoid exams so badly they are willing to do anything? [Which] smart people wanting to go to university to get a degree would not want to write exams? Hence the saying, 'common sense is not so common'.”

Rubulana said they had tried to be intellectual, but were met with a “military voice”.

“If you are black and still speaking properly, you will never get listened to. But, once you resort to other tactics, you very quickly get listened to. What must we do?”

Final year student Luxolo Billie said the violence on Wednesday was “very unfortunate” and they were not hooligans.

“The only time we were violent is because black securities and police shot at us.”

Fellow student Palesa Mcophela believed police used more violence at UWC than at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

She said students “were teargassed in their rooms and police kicked down their doors”.

One student was in Tygerberg Hospital after being shot in the head with a rubber bullet, she said, adding a neurologist would have to be consulted.

Sabelo Skenjana said he spoke for the collective when he said he had never before been so afraid.

“It’s the type of fear whereby when you drop the soap in the shower, just that bang makes you want to run away. That is trauma.”

He said people asked for transformation at universities and the youth delivered.

“Students are transformers. We are not going to stop.”

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

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