17 February 2016
Dear colleagues and students
This communication serves to inform you of the latest developments in relation to protests on campus.
Hotline: A hotline is being set up for parents and members of the public who are concerned about activity on campus. We will shortly release the telephone number on the UCT homepage.
Protecting campus: Additional security has been deployed on campus. UCT's campus protection services (CPS) have been deployed to ensure teaching and learning venues and residences are safe and free from disruption, and additional CPS are available to assist in the prevention and management of any case of disruption. As such, there might be heightened security visible from time to time on campus. All additional protection officers report to UCT CPS. Please dial 021 650 2222/3 to report any disturbances.
Overnight disruptions: After UCT's executive asked members of Rhodes Must Fall to move a shack that they erected in the middle of Residence Road to an alternative space less than 20m away, violence and vandalism broke out. Last night protestors entered Smuts Hall, Fuller Hall and Jameson Hall, removing artwork from the walls and burning them. One vehicle and several bins were also set alight. UCT is in the process of obtaining an interdict and charges have been laid with SAPS against leaders of RMF associated with acts of violence and criminality. The vice-chancellor's office was petrol-bombed overnight. Despite extensive damage, Bremner is open for operations. At least one Jammie shuttle bus was set alight last night, and UCT is investigating reports of others stoned and stolen. The burnt bus was empty and no one was hurt. There are some delays with the Jammie Shuttle, but buses are running. This morning a group of protesting students attempted to disrupt activities on upper campus on Residence Road and a group of students protested peacefully in the foyer of Bremner building.
Media conference: Senior leadership of the institution addressed members of the media this morning on the unfolding issues on campus. Further information connected to this address will be made available on the UCT home page.
Counselling: The situation on campus in relation to recent protest action at UCT might result in some staff and students needing support, counselling or trauma assistance. Students can arrange to see a UCT counsellor by contacting the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 1017 (weekdays). Alternatively you can contact the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture on 021 465 7373. For students who, for whatever reason, cannot access the Student Wellness Service and need to see a counsellor urgently, email Ian.Mackintosh@uct.ac.za with your name, cell number or other contact details. Dr Mackintosh will then arrange for a counsellor to contact you. For staff, UCT's organisational health and wellness office offers counselling. For more information or to set up an appointment, contact Ashley Taylor on 021 650 2154 or email@example.com.
Facilities at UCT: All facilities at UCT are currently operational. This includes the libraries, study centres and Jammie shuttles. Any change to this status will be posted first on the UCT home page.
Find the most updated information: To keep up to date with campus activities and new information, we encourage you to visit UCT's website and Facebook page regularly and to follow the official UCT Twitter account, @UCT_News. This is the quickest way to get the latest information. If you need information not covered here, or have suggestions on how to improve these campus announcements, please respond by return email.
Please note: If you have any security concerns, please contact campus protection services on 021 650 2222/3.