Top aca­demic sus­pended over stu­dent protests

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - YAZEED KAMALDIEN

A SE­NIOR staff mem­ber at the Cape Penin­sula Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (CPUT) was this week sus­pended for his al­leged in­volve­ment in vi­o­lent stu­dent protests.

Pro­fes­sor Mzikayise Binza, dean of busi­ness and man­age­ment sci­ences at CPUT, was told on Tues­day he was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for al­legedly as­sist­ing protest­ing stu­dents.

In re­cent weeks, CPUT stu­dents have vi­o­lently de­manded the institution can­cel their debts and waive their fees, claim­ing they can­not af­ford to pay.

They were seen smash­ing win­dows and burn­ing the en­trance of the main ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing on the Bel­lville cam­pus. A se­cu­rity build­ing and fees of­fice were also set alight.

Week­end Ar­gus tried re­peat­edly yes­ter­day to con­tact Binza to get com­ment, but all cell and tele­phone num­bers for him went unan­swered.

CPUT spokes­woman Lau­ren Kans­ley was brief in her re­sponse on the mat­ter.

“I can only con­firm the sus­pen­sion and not com­ment on any­thing fur­ther. Pend­ing a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing, we will not be com­ment­ing fur­ther,” she said.

A source close to the mat­ter, who did not want to be named, said Binza stood ac­cused of meet­ing stu­dents who protested at the Bel­lville cam­pus.

“It is be­ing al­leged that he was in­volved with the stu­dent protest. He was seen at the protest but he said that he was just try­ing to re­move a burn­ing dust­bin,” said the source.

“He went against ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment’s back and met with stu­dents off cam­pus. I don’t know if he was try­ing to meet them to stop the protest.”

Po­lice have ar­rested sev­eral CPUT stu­dent pro­test­ers in re­cent weeks, charg­ing them for pub­lic violence.

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