Update from Thursday 22 October

22 October 2015 | Campus Update

Words from the vice-chancellor

  • Read this evening's statement from the VC outlining how a process to lift the interdict issued on Monday 19 October has been set in motion; and how UCT management has undertaken to work with SAPS and the prosecutor to have the charges against 23 students from Tuesday 20 October withdrawn.

Statement from the president of Convocation

Summary of the day's activities

  • Students gathered on campus, and were joined by UCT academics, for a mass gathering on Jammie Plaza.

  • The Academics Union and the Black Academics Caucus hosted a meeting of about 200 concerned academics about the recent events around the #FeesMustFall campaign. They have put together a list of six demands, which they intend to hand over to UCT management on Friday 23 October at 11h00.

  • Other students gathered at the Cape Town Magistrates' Court to await the outcome of the hearing for the group now known as the #BellvilleSix (Kgotsi Chikane, Chumani Maxwele, Markus Trengove, Lindsey Maasdorp, Nathan Taylor and Kevin French), together with others arrested as part of the #FeesMustFall movement. All have been released on a warning, pending further investigation. The matter will be heard again on 23 February 2016.

  • An interdict against SAPS, preventing them from using excessive and unnecessary force against peaceful student protests was successfully granted to students, with help from the Legal Resources Centre.

  • “I am proud of my students and I am proud of my son … If I could have, I would have joined the protests yesterday.” Following yesterday's clashes with police at Parliament, Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Francis Petersen and Director of the Department of Alumni and Development Dr Russell Ally addressed media at a press conference as the Sport Science Institute of South Africa at 11h00. Price's son, Ilan, was one of the students arrested during yesterday's clash with the police – as was Reverend Frank Chikane's son Kgotsi, and Archibishop Thabo Makgoba's son

Forecast of activities to come

  • The university will be closed again on Friday 23 October.

  • A University Assembly scheduled to be held on Jameson Plaza on Friday 23 October has been postponed, given that the vice-chancellor will be at an urgent meeting with the president and national ministers in Pretoria regarding university fees.

  • UCT academics will march from upper campus to Bremner at 11h00 to hand over a list of six demands, namely: a withdrawal of the interdict issued against students on Monday night; an end to police brutality on campus; a forum at which each member of the executive are made to account for their part in issuing the interdict; the rescheduling of exams in consultation with both academics and students; engagement with government and other stakeholders to resolve the national funding crisis of higher education in South Africa; and transparency around the university's financial and budgeting processes, as well as the university's current income and expenditure. Read their statement here.

  • 10 000 students are expected to march from Burgers Park to the Union Buildings at 10h00 this morning.

  • Max Price will be meeting with the president and other ministers in Pretoria on Friday 23 October, and will demand decisive state intervention to ensure that students in need do not face a fee increase in 2016. Following this meeting, he will take a number of proposals to UCT Council aimed at ensuring that students in need do not face a fee increase in 2016; and that UCT's comprehensive financial aid package for students in need remains in place.

Exam update

The set of University examinations due to start on 27 October 2015 have been postponed. The October/November exam session will not start next week. UCT will set a new date for exams in consultation with staff and students. Please stay tuned to www.uct.ac.za and UCT on Facebook and Twitter for updates. If you have any questions specific to your course, please contact your course convenor or head of department.

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