Western Cape High Court grants UCT an interim interdict

30 October 2017 | 17:25 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) approached the Western Cape High Court seeking interdictory relief with respect to unlawful protest action and the matter was heard on an urgent basis today, 30 October 2017. The court granted an interim interdict, effective immediately, the terms of which are as follows:

1.1. Interdicting and restraining the respondent from taking or attempting to take any action that obstructs or frustrates (i) the effective rendering of university services or decision-making processes of the applicant, (ii) the ability of the applicant’s employees to do their work, and (iii) student/s from pursuing their studies, such action to include, but not to be limited to, the following actions:

1.1.1. entering or occupying any of the applicant’s properties or buildings other than for the transaction of university business that requires their attendance in the building (including the attendance of lectures, tutorials and examination venues, and for occupying student housing for which they are lawfully registered);

1.1.2. disrupting or interfering with any lectures, tutorials or similar activities, or preventing the continuation of lectures or any other learning or studying activities, including learning activities or studying in any of the applicant’s libraries or other facilities, in any manner whatsoever;

1.1.3. preventing any student or member of the applicant’s staff from accessing or remaining on any of the applicant’s properties or any building on the properties, or from accessing any form of transport arranged by the applicant;

1.1.4. destroying, damaging in any way or defacing any of the applicant’s property;

1.1.5. erecting any form of barricade, preventing access to any roads, buildings or transport on the applicant’s property or any public road on campus or adjoining it;

1.1.6. carrying any weapons, including, but not limited to, sticks, whips, rocks and stones;

1.1.7. activating any of the fire alarms in any of the applicant’s properties, including student residences, save for legitimate reasons;

1.1.8. participating in, or inciting others to participate in, violent protests;

1.1.9. inciting violence;

1.1.10. intimidating any person on the applicant’s properties or seeking to access the applicant’s properties, including at any of the applicant’s student residences;

1.1.11. seeking to persuade or coerce any person, using intimidation, duress or threats, from continuing with their work (in the case of any of the applicant’s employees or contractors) or, in the case of students, from studying, attending lectures or pursuing any other learning or studying activity.

1.2. Interdicting and restraining the respondent from unlawfully gathering in protest or protesting unlawfully in any manner within 200 metres from any entrance to the university and/or the following venues:

1.2.1. all of the examination venues that will be determined and published by the applicant;

1.2.2. all of the applicant’s libraries, located at the upper and satellite campuses;

1.2.3. the applicant’s computer laboratories, including those located at the following buildings: Leslie, Computer Science, Menzies and Masingeni;

1.2.4. the applicant’s research laboratories.

2. That paragraphs 1.1 and 1.2 above shall operate as an interim interdict with immediate effect until the final determination of this matter.

3. Directing the members of the South African Police Service and local law enforcement to forthwith assist the applicant with the enforcement of the interim order.

Shackville TRC as well as Access to Justice approached the court today to be admitted as amicus curiae. The court directed the parties to reach agreement in respect of the filing of further papers with regard to those applications that will be considered on the return date of hearing for a final interdict.

A copy of the endorsed order will be published on the UCT website once it becomes available.


Communication and Marketing Department

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Campus communications

Exams continue and other updates 10:50, 21 November 2017
Wishing students well for exams 10:45, 13 November 2017
Update on protests and disruption 22:00, 6 November 2017
Disruptions on UCT’s campuses 20:55, 29 October 2017

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In a statement to UCT students, Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price said:
“I wish no student to be ignorant about what constitutes unlawful protest behaviour.
Disruption of classes, blocking of entrances or exits, interfering with traffic flow, putting up barricades that prevent people from conducting normal business or attending classes, and any form of intimidation – whether physical or verbal – is unlawful.”