UCT Senate meeting disbands after disruption
Released: 18h00, 9 November 2015

09 November 2015 | Story by Newsroom

A Senate meeting at the University of Cape Town was disbanded today after about 150 individuals who were not members of Senate entered the meeting and disrupted the proceedings.

UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price opened the meeting by asking Senate members for agreement on a position to take if the meeting were disrupted. He advised the Senate that members of the Campus Protection Services were focusing on the security of students who were studying on campus or in the process of taking exams, and additional security was not available for the Senate meeting. The consensus among Senate members was to disband the meeting if it were disrupted.

Halfway through Dr Price's briefing on developments around negotiations with NEHAWU and other university groups, the meeting was disrupted and Dr Price was surrounded by protesters. When the protesters refused to leave, the meeting was disbanded.

It is worrying that these protesters seem to have no interest in discussion or any form of debate or negotiation. They do not allow for any conversation, but seem to be simply interested in disruption. This is deeply regrettable.

Commerce EDU staff on disruption of Senate


Staff from the Commerce Education Development Unit join a range of groupings in voicing their disquiet about acts of violence and intimidating behaviour that transpired at the special Senate meeting on the 9 November. Read statement

AU Executive response to the disruption of a Special Senate Meeting held on the 9th November 2015


The UCT Academic Union condemns the disruption of Senate and says protesters "crossed the line".

Read statement

GroundUp reports on disruption of senate meeting

A UCT Senate meeting was disbanded on 9 November 2015 after about 150 protesters entered the meeting and disrupted the proceedings. Read the GroundUp article by Thembela Ntongana.

Statement from humanities' dean on disruption of senate

Prof Sakhela_Buhlungu

In this widely circulated email, Dean of Humanities Prof Sakhela Buhlungu briefs members of his faculty on the disruption of an emergency meeting of senate. In it, he emphasises how any form of protest that descends into verbal and physical abuse has no place at UCT and deserves condemnation by all members of the university community. Professor Mqhele E Dlodlo in the engineering faculty took the opportunity to build on his sentiments.

EBE comments on disruption of Senate


The Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment is deeply troubled by the disruption of the Senate meeting on 9 November and condemns the disrespectful and abusive behaviour of the protesting group towards the university executive and academic staff. Any protest that relies on violence, verbal and physical abuse has no place at UCT. Such behaviour places the university and student body as a whole in disrepute and is not conducive to constructive debate or transformation.

Statement from health sciences' faculty on postponement of 9 November meeting

Prof Sakhela_Buhlungu

he Dean's Advisory Committee in the Faculty of Health Sciences voices its strong condemnation of the behaviour of a group of students and workers who disrupted the Senate meeting on Monday 9 November 2015. Read statement

Reflecting on violence, conflict resolution and peace building

Prof Sakhela_Buhlungu

Humanities' dean Prof Sakhela Buhlungu recently briefed members of his faculty on the disruption of an emergency meeting of Senate. As his letter circulated around the campus community, Assoc Prof Professor Mqhele E Dlodlo in the engineering faculty took the opportunity to build on his sentiments. Read statement

Statement from members of Senate

members of Senate

Over 100 members of Senate have endorsed a statement condemning the "unlawful behaviour" shown at the disruption of special sitting of Senate on 9 November. Members express grave concern that "the office and person of the vice-chancellor has been assaulted" and the "dignity as well as constitutional rights of Senate and its members have been compromised". Read statement

Statement of protest from CHED members of Senate

CHED members

CHED members of Senate condemn acts of violence against the vice-chancellor and "the entire university community" at the disrupted Senate meeting of 9 November 2015. Read statement

Black Academic Caucus statement in response to disruption of Senate

Prof Sakhela_Buhlungu

The Black Academic Caucus at UCT (BAC) strongly condemns the acts of violence that transpired during Monday's, 9th November, special Senate meeting. Those in attendance were subjected to humiliating, disrespectful, and unruly behaviour by individuals who disrupted the session. Read statement

EU Executive's response to disruption of special Senate meeting on 9 November 2015

Prof Sakhela_Buhlungu

UCT Employees Union condemns the physical and verbal assaults on the vice-chancellor and members of the Senate on 9 November, and calls upon UCT management to continue to exhaust all possible, alternative dispute resolution options available. Read statement

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