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16 March 2016 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students,

We are writing to alert and inform you of the following:

  • The tragic death of two UCT students;
  • The arrest by SAPS of a suspect in relation to the Rhodes Memorial rapes and assaults;
  • Statement of progress by the UCT Council Task Team on the works of art;
  • Statement of progress by the UCT Council Task Team on the naming of buildings;
  • Statements in reaction to the recent disruption of the RMF exhibition;
  • The continuation of the Varsity Cup rugby competition

Condolences on the tragic death of two UCT students

It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the death of Mr Madiba Mosimanegape Boyz Madiba, a first-year student from Alberton, who drowned during a swimming exercise with the UCT rowing club on Saturday, 10 March 2016 at the Misverstand dam. On completion of the exercise it was noticed that Mr Madiba was missing. Emergency services, including a diving team, were called in immediately and his body was later found. His family was informed on Saturday evening and the university has offered support to the family during this traumatic time. Mr Madiba is survived by his parents and his brother. The family expressed their appreciation for the support given to them by UCT and by friends of Mr Madiba. No details are available yet about funeral plans. Mr Madiba was studying towards a BSc in astrophysics, chemistry and mathematics. On behalf of the university we extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr Madiba's family, as well his friends and colleagues in the Science faculty, the Rowing Club and others at the university who knew him.

The death of another student, Mr Sivuyile Nicholas Kolisi, who was killed during a hijacking in February 2016 in Gauteng is equally as tragic. Mr Kolisi was a Master of Engineering student at the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment (EBE). On behalf of UCT, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr Kolisi's family and friends, as well as students and staff in the EBE faculty. Mr Kolisi was laid to rest on 6 March 2016 in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape. Our thoughts continue to be with the Kolisi family in this time of grief.

SAPS arrest suspect on rape charge at Rhodes Memorial

UCT congratulates the South African Police Service for their dedicated efforts to catch a 35-year-old suspect believed to be involved in attacks and rapes in the Rhodes memorial area. Whilst the suspect was arrested on suspicion of an alleged rape on 19 November 2015, SAPS is investigating the possibility that the same suspect could be linked to similar cases in the area. The suspect was arrested on the morning of Saturday, 12 March 2016, on Table Mountain. He appeared in Wynberg Court on Monday and the case was postponed until Friday, 18 March 2016. He remains in police custody.

While we are extremely relieved at this positive development, we cannot ignore the fact that rape and sexual violence on our campus and in our society in general is rife. It recently came to our attention that two female students were allegedly raped by people they knew in two unrelated and separate incidents. Both students were offered a range of support services at the time of the incidents. We advise again of the establishment of the sexual assault response team (SART), a unit that aims to provide survivor-centred, compassionate and comprehensive services on campus. It includes a medical practitioner, counseling professionals, staff from the Student Wellness Service and representatives from Campus Protection Services.

Call for comments on names of buildings

The Task Team on the Naming of Buildings, Rooms, Spaces and Roads was established by the UCT Council in 2015. The task team has now released a statement inviting comments from the UCT community regarding proposals for or against the renaming of certain buildings including Jameson Memorial Hall and Smuts Hall. The UCT community is also invited to make proposals regarding the changing of names of other buildings. The closing date for comments and proposals is at 12h00 on 30 March 2016. Please read the statement for more detailed information including procedures the task team will use in assessing proposals. A register of the names of buildings and the history behind these names can be found on the UCT website.

Call for comments on a proposal related to works of art

UCT Council's  Artworks Task Team was established by the Council in September 2015. The task team has released a statement describing the team's mandate, the urgency related to its work and progress that has been made. It proposes that a core cluster of art works displayed on campus and identified as controversial be temporarily removed while the university decides on the curatorial policy that it wishes to adopt. The task team urges the university community to use the opportunity to reassess its acquisitions policy in terms of works of art and to decide on an active and considered curatorial policy. Furthermore it advises the start of a wide, open consultative process by the UCT community on these matters.

Disruption of RMF exhibition

Members of UCT's Trans Collective disrupted a RMF exhibition held on 9 March. The Centre for African Studies released a statement on the matter. The Trans Collective has subsequently released a statement on Facebook.

Varsity Cup resumed on Monday, 14 March

The Varsity Cup has resumed with the first matches of the catch-up rounds taking place on 14 March at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. Venues for matches scheduled for 21, 24 and 28 March are yet to be determined. The Varsity Cup fixtures have been adjusted to include four more rounds before the semi-finals and finals in April.

Yours sincerely

Gerda Kruger
Executive Director: Communication & Marketing Department

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