We never started disruption, says expelled CPUT student

2017-10-15 17:35
FILE: A fire at Mount Street near CPUT. (Jenni Evans, News24)

FILE: A fire at Mount Street near CPUT. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - One of the four expelled Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) students, on Sunday, disputed this week’s findings against them.

“We feel we have been punished for something we had not done,” said Ayakha Magxotwa, who is the elected student representative council chair for the Cape Town campus.

He is one of four students who, at an external disciplinary process last week, were expelled – with the expulsion suspended for 12 months.

Magxotwa disputed the accuracy of suspension letters that stated that the four disrupted a meeting of the executive council (exco) held on August 18 at the council chambers.

According to the letter, the students "interrupted the effective rendering of decision-making activities of the exco council, threatening to burn the buildings and holding the members of the entire meeting hostage, and refusing that they may leave the venue and premises of CPUT”.

On Sunday, Magxotwa was adamant that neither he, nor Sivuyise Nolusu‚ Neo Mongale or Lukhanyo Vangqa were those who initiated the disruption.

“The people who disrupted the meetings were students in need of accommodation.  We came after the meeting was disrupted – playing our leadership role to try advocate for students.”

“I was there to bring calmness and order at the council chamber,” added Magxotwa.

The suspension of the expulsion means that the four will be able to complete their studies, pending any further disciplinary action.

Can't be limited

That ruling though did not bring any relief, he said.

“We are student leaders. We can’t be limited in what we do.”

He also disputed remarks made by Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, who, earlier this week, denounced the “sporadic anarchy” at CPUT as being caused by “a tiny band of people who harbour criminal intentions…”.

On Sunday, Magxotwa  responded, saying: “I want to make it very clear that we distance ourselves from any form of violence”.

He said the unrest at the campus was due to ongoing unhappiness about financial exclusions.

Meanwhile, earlier this weekend, Vice Chancellor Chris Nhlapo announced that "normal institutional activities" would resume next week.

CPUT has been at the centre of several student protests during the last few months, including instances where a workshop was petrol bombed and a staff room torched.

Read more on:    cput  |  cape town  |  education

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