Price ‘punched’ while addressing students
UCT PLANS to identify the protester, possibly a student, who “threw two punches to the body” of Vice-Chancellor Max Price yesterday afternoon, and lodge a complaint with the police.
Police had to intervene to escort Price away from a group of protesters outside the Bremner Building on lower campus just before 4pm. Footage shows Price and two other members of the UCT executive surrounded by a group of protesters.
The vice-chancellor, who was on his way to a council meeting accompanied by deputy vice-chancellors Professor Anwar Mall and Professor Francis Petersen, first responded to questions over a loudspeaker about arrested UCT student activist Masixole Mlandu.
A second video showed protesters surrounding Price, jostling and trying to talk to him, while others stood back and filmed the events with their cellphones.
Police then intervened to escort Price away, but a scuffle ensued as protesters, police, Price and his colleagues were pushed back and forth. As things became more heated, there were shouts of “hey voetsek” and then the sound of stun grenades and smoke-filled scenes. UCT spokeswoman Gerda
TIDES High today .......... 2.20am 2.37pm Tomorrow ........... 3.01am 3.18pm Low today........... 8.25am 8.52pm Tomorrow ........... 9.05am 9.33pm Spring tides ....................... Oct 16 Oct 30 Oct 22 Nov 7 Neap Tides SUN/MOON Sunrise today Sunset today Moon rises today Moon sets tomorrow 6.05am 6.58pm 6.19pm 5.38am Kruger said after Price engaged with the group, he explained he had to leave for the council meeting, which started at 4pm.
“As Dr Price attempted to walk away a small group of protesters started pulling and pushing at his body and refused to let him leave,” she said.
“Dr Price tried to ignore it and walked away from the grouping, when one particular individual threw two punches.”
Kruger called the behaviour “utterly unacceptable and unlawful”.
“In our view, what happened to Dr Price constitutes assault,” she said.
Price did not receive medical attention and continued straight to the council meeting.
Weekend Argus’s attempts last night to contact three people involved in the campaign for free education and decolonisation at UCT failed.
Kruger said the protesting group left the Bremner Building after the incident and later “disrupted a soccer match taking place on a field nearby”.
She said the university recognised that “not all protesters behaved in this way”.
“Those who do are showing a disturbing disregard for the law.”
It is understood that reopening the university was set be discussed at the council meeting yesterday.
The alleged assault on Vice Chancellor Max Price provoked strong reaction on social media.
“Can this please be a tipping point? No more negotiating with those who display criminal behaviour. Open UCT! Enough is enough,” tweeted commentator Judith February. But not all tweets were supportive. “Whatever happened to Max Price would not have happened had he dropped all cases against students. “It’s all on him,” another user tweeted. Another posting on social media asked for more evidence of the assault, saying the video was not clear.
“We want evidence please, because Max Price became aggressive,” tweeted user @SNK_omnyama.
A still from a video of UCT Vice-Chancellor Max Price surrounded by protesters.