3 October 2016
Dear students and colleagues
This communication serves to inform you of the latest developments in relation to the situation in the national higher education sector and the protests on UCT campus.
Nationally, President Zuma addressed a Multi-Stakeholder Forum on the Crisis in Universities in Kempton Park.
At UCT, classes resumed this morning and operations are continuing. There have been groups of protesters moving around campus, protesting and disrupting lectures. Both the north and south entrances to upper campus remain closed. Earlier this morning, a group of protesters moved along Main Road to the medical school. From there the protesters moved to upper campus. The protesters are currently on upper campus and some lectures have been disrupted. The Jammie Shuttle service is not operating. The libraries remain closed.
For the most part, the protesters have behaved in a manner that adheres to the UCT code of conduct, but a number of disruptions, especially of lectures, have been reported in the PD Hahn, Menzies and New Engineering buildings. Six people were arrested for disrupting a lecture in the PD Hahn building on the northwest side of campus. The six were warned that their actions were unlawful and that they should leave the premises. They refused and were arrested. They were taken to a police station and charges are being laid. If they are found to be UCT students, disciplinary action, including possible suspension, will follow.
The UCT executive are attempting to manage the situation with a joint operations team including Campus Protection Services (CPS) and the South African Police Service (SAPS). Our intention is to use security as a last resort in all cases. In view of the national context, operational heads of CPS and SAPS are jointly managing the security operations on campus. This means that police will be present and visible around campus.
The Vice-Chancellor appeals to all UCT staff and students to continue operations as best they can and to avoid situations of conflict. Staff and students are further urged to allow the visible security personnel to undertake their work.
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