Cape Town - The charges against three UCT students accused of burning historic paintings during campus unrest were withdrawn in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Masixole Mlandu, Chumani Maxwele and Slovo Magida were given community service after facing charges of malicious damage to property, their lawyer Lufuno Musetsho said.
The paintings were destroyed during the campus Shackville protests in February, during which a shack was erected on upper campus as a symbol of the struggle for student housing and financial exclusions. UCT’s security later demolished the structure.
The artworks were taken from the Fuller and Smuts residences on the upper campus on February 16, and used to make a bonfire.
The 24 pieces, including 16 portraits and a wooden plaque, had a total insured valued of R682 500, as well as immeasurable historical and cultural value, the university previously told News24.
The works were created by artists Bernard Hailstone, Neville Lewis, Edward Roworth, John Wheatley, Richard Keresemose Baholo, Kirsten Lilford, Nina Romm, James Eddie, Carli Hare, Harriet Fuller Knight, Roeleen Ryall, Rupert Shepard, Robert Broadley, and Stanley Eppel.
On Tuesday, Mlandu also appeared on an intimidation charge for allegedly forcing workers to take part in campus protests in October.
The matter was postponed to January 18 for representations.