Se­cu­rity out­num­bers stu­dents on UCT cam­pus

Lec­tures sus­pended in­def­i­nitely across city

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - ASANDA SOKANYILE

THERE were more se­cu­rity guards than stu­dents at UCT yes­ter­day, a sit­u­a­tion Vice- Chan­cel­lor Max Price blamed on the “bru­tal­ity and vi­o­lence” dis­played by pro­test­ers.

“Pro­test­ers are be­ing mon­i­tored by both the SAPS and Cam­pus Pro­tec­tion Ser­vices,” uni­ver­sity spokes­woman Pat Lu­cas said.

Classes have been sus­pended in­def­i­nitely at UCT, the Cape Penin­sula Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy and the Uni­ver­sity of the Western Cape, where build­ings were set alight ear­lier this week.

But exam timeta­bles have been re­leased and on­line study plat­forms made avail­able.

Pub­lic or­der po­lice, SAPS and a few stu­dents roamed the cam­pus late yes­ter­day.

But ear­lier a group of about 200 pro­test­ers were al­legedly mov­ing from res­i­dence to res­i­dence and other build­ings, in­clud­ing the li­brary, but were stopped by guards.

The crowd quickly dis­persed with only a hand­ful head­ing to the SRC of­fices.

On- site se­cu­rity could not tell if the stu­dents were en­gaged in a meet­ing, but told Week­end Ar­gus they would “en­sure calm”. Stu­dents re­fused to speak to the me­dia.

Ear­lier this week # FeesMustFall pro­test­ers clashed with au­thor­i­ties af­ter stu­dent Zi­masa Delih­lazo was de­tained by pri­vate se­cu­rity on the up­per cam­pus.

Six stu­dents were also ar­rested fol­low­ing vi­o­lence which saw po­lice run­ning for cover af­ter pro­test­ers “hurled dust­bins and other ob­jects at them”. Stu­dents are also said to have in­vaded nu­mer­ous build­ings, in­tim­i­dated staff and trig­gered fire alarms and blocked en­trances.

On Thurs­day, Price an­nounced an in­crease in the num­bers of pri­vate se­cu­rity, pub­lic or­der polic­ing and SAPS of­fi­cers was due to “mount­ing ag­gres­sion, van­dal­ism and vi­o­lence from the pro­test­ers”.

Price also said two se­cu­rity guards had been “bru­tally at­tacked”.

“One was beaten up by a group of pro­test­ers near the food court on up­per cam­pus, the other had a rock dropped on his head from an up­per storey of the Steve Biko Stu­dent’s Union build­ing.

“Bot­tles with some liq­uid and a lighter were also dis­cov­ered in a man­hole on the up­per cam­pus. The con­tents of the bot­tles was in­ves­ti­gated, but no ev­i­dence of flammable liq­uid was found.”

They were also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the con­tents of an­other “sus­pi­cious- look­ing bot­tle” found be­hind the com­puter science build­ing.

The health sciences fac­ulty at UCT has sus­pended all classes for the rest of the year. “The dean and the dean’s ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee have de­cided to sus­pend all teach­ing and learning ac­tiv­i­ties in years one to three of all the un­der­grad­u­ate pro­grammes, with a plan to com­plete teach­ing and ex­am­i­na­tions in a mini-se­mes­ter in Jan­uary 2017,” it said.

Ex­am­i­na­tions for the rest of the in­sti­tu­tion would com­mence early next month.

asanda.sokanyile@inl.co.za

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