Withdrawn student cases and other updates

19 July 2019 | Campus Announcement

Dear students and colleagues

This campus announcement aims to inform members of the University of Cape Town community about:

1. Council resolution on withdrawn student cases

Following the statement issued by Mr Sipho M Pityana, chair of UCT Council, on the conclusion of the Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (IRTC) processes, as well as the Council resolutions adopted at its meeting held in June 2019, the university provides further details on the cases that have been withdrawn relating to the 2015, 2016 and 2017 protests.

The cases fall into two categories.

The moratorium category includes the pre-November 2016 cases that were placed on hold because they were covered by the 6 November 2016 agreement and the IRTC had been asked to advise on how to deal with them.

The pending category includes cases emanating from the disruptions in late 2017. Charges were prepared but not issued, and a University Student Disciplinary Tribunal was convened to consider these cases. They were not covered by the 6 November 2016 agreement and were placed on hold to avoid undermining the IRTC process.

The cases in these two categories affect 33 current and past students. The allegations against these individuals relate to misconduct in terms of UCT’s rules of conduct for students. The allegations include threats and intimidation that create a hostile environment, lecture disruption, racial and verbal abuse, assault, forceful entry into UCT venues, damage to property, forcing Jammie Shuttle drivers out of their buses, triggering fire alarms for disruptive impact, discharge of fire extinguishers, disrupting a meeting of the residence cleaning staff, and disruption of activity in the UCT Libraries. Given the passage of time since the events of 2016 and 2017, the report of the IRTC and the university’s focus on the future, the UCT Council endorsed the view of the executive that the moratorium and pending cases be withdrawn.

This view takes into account the need for the university to move on from the events of 2016 and 2017, the fact that members of the executive had previously made an opportunity available to hear from alleged victims and complainants in these cases, and the risk of ongoing instability were these matters to continue through processes that may not advance institutional healing.

2. UCT Gender-Based Violence Campaign

Gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa is a widespread societal problem with an unacceptably high incidence rate. Universities are microcosms of society and as such UCT is not exempt from the scourge of GBV. Under the guidance of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Transformation, Professor Loretta Feris, the university is running the UCT GBV Campaign from July to December 2019.

3. Food Security Programme kicks off for second semester

The UCT Food Security Programme resumed on Monday, 15 July. The programme provides 600 free packed lunches to students in need from Monday to Friday from 12:00 to 14:00 during term time in Room 1.04 on Level 1 of the Robert Leslie Social Science Building on upper campus. For this semester the Sports and Recreation team will drop off packs at the various satellite campuses, including Hiddingh campus; the South African College of Music; the Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies; the Child Guidance Clinic; the Faculty of Law; and the health sciences campus.

To volunteer, or for further information, please contact Edwina Brooks at Edwina.Brooks@uct.ac.za or on 021 650 3924.

4. Temporary closure of Steve Biko Building

The Steve Biko Building has been temporarily closed for renovations since 1 July 2019 and will remain closed until 31 March 2020. The reason for this project is to provide compliant and appropriate access to all services, specifically student health and disability services. The Cissy Gool Plaza Food Court and the UCT Bookshop will not be affected by the temporary closure and will operate as normal throughout the construction period. The UCT community is advised that there will be noise, dust, smells and fumes during this renovation period, which might affect the surrounding areas and buildings.

Departments have been relocated as follows:

  • All student bodies (SHAWCO, SRC, Varsity News, RAG, Ubunye) – Parking Lot 4 next to the rugby fields
  • Fundi – North Council Meeting Room, Sports Centre
  • Student Wellness Service – Ivan Toms Building
  • Department of Student Affairs (DSA) executive director and staff – 5 Stanley Road, Middle Campus
  • Student Development and staff – 9 Stanley Road, Middle Campus
  • DSA Treasury – Extramural Cash Office, Level 3, Kramer Law Building, Middle Campus
  • Student Parliament – DSA Meeting Rooms, Level 3, Leslie Social Sciences Building, Upper Campus
  • Disability Service – Level 4, John Day Building, Upper Campus
  • The Writing Centre – Knowledge Commons, Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, Upper Campus

5. Inaugural lecture: Professor Adam Haupt

The third Vice-Chancellorʼs Inaugural Lecture for this year will be presented by Professor Adam Haupt, professor of media studies at the Centre for Film and Media Studies. The lecture is titled “Remixing scholarship: Hip hop, the humanities and knowledge production”. It will take place at 17:30 on Wednesday, 31 July, in Lecture Theatre 1 in the Kramer Law Building on middle campus.

6. The 2019 DSA Student Leadership Programme

The application process for the 2019 Department of Student Affairs (DSA) Student Leadership Programme is open. The first of the weekly sessions takes place from 17:00 to 19:00 on Wednesday, 31 July. Run by the DSA, the programme provides – among other things – an experiential leadership programme; a safe, diverse and engaging environment; opportunities to develop skills; and a certificate of participation.

Students may apply online. The closing date is 26 July 2019 at 23:00. For more details, please contact Edwina Brooks at Edwina.Brooks@uct.ac.za or on 021 650 3924.

7. UCT hosts public lecture by the Auditor-General SA

The University of Cape Town’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, in partnership with the Auditor-General of South Africa, will host a public lecture on the local government audit outcomes for the 2017/18 financial year.

The programme will include an opening address by UCT Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, followed by a presentation by the Auditor-General SA and a question and answer session. The public lecture will take place from 18:00 to 20:00 on Tuesday, 30 July, in Lecture Theatre 1 in the Kramer Law Building on middle campus.

Please RSVP to Andile Cele at andile.cele@uct.ac.za by Wednesday, 24 July.

8. ICTS scheduled maintenance

Please note that Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) have scheduled a maintenance slot from 09:00 to 17:00 on Sunday, 21 July. Unless advised to the contrary, do not expect any ICT services to be available for the duration of the maintenance slot. Please remember to consult the scheduled ICTS maintenance slots for 2019 before planning any teaching, conferences, meetings, etc that require ICT services.


Communication and Marketing Department

Read previous communications:

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.