Security outnumbers students on UCT campus
Lectures suspended indefinitely across city
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.