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UCT suspends all its services

STUDENT activists from UCT continued with the #FeesMustFall national shutdown 
yesterday by disrupting 
the university’s Hiddingh campus.

This came after UCT management closed the university’s main campus after student activists shut it down on Tuesday. Last night the university decided to suspend all services until Sunday.

Yesterday’s action was also a continuation of the students #ShackvilleTRC, the shutdown of university operations nationally, and to put pressure on university management to respond to their demands.

They arrived in large numbers as police stood waiting in riot gear as students and workers exited the station.

An SRC candidate, who asked not to be named, said this was a continuation of their shutdown.

“Today (Wednesday) we are shutting down UCT’s Hiddingh campus to give the students there an update on what has been happening on main campus.

"We are upholding our demands that we want our cadres back, the issue of free education and further issues of last year,” she said.

She said there is communication between campuses in the province to put pressure on all universities to address student issues.

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola confirmed the university executive and student representatives met on Tuesday.

“The executive will continue to meet with a range of stakeholders and communicate outcomes when appropriate and broaden engagements to find a way forward.”

He said the situation on campus would be assessed and a decision will be 
communicated.

Stellenbosch University on Tuesday obtained a court order for 30 students to vacate premises within 30 minutes.

This order comes after student activists allegedly resorted to extensive 
disruption, damage to property and an assault on fellow students, and members of staff.

A student activist said she is one of the respondents and other students said the alleged assault did not occur as the university stated.

“Some students said there was an altercation and a lot of pushing and shoving, but no assault. This is a clear victimisation attempt to those of us who they consider the most vocal.”

She said they had nowhere to go and management were even threatening them with suspensions.

Stellenbosch University spokesperson Martin Viljoen said due to the escalating situation impacting on academic activities on the Stellenbosch campus yesterday, a decision was taken to obtain a court order against 30 student activists to vacate the Wilcocks Building.

The students left of their own accord.

Viljoen said the 30 “respondents” are further interdicted on an interim basis: from re-occupying the Wilcocks Building or any other campus building, from disrupting the normal activities of the 
university and from barricading or obstructing entrances to campus buildings or streets, from damaging property and from assaulting, intimidating or threatening, harassing, harming or detaining others.

Students and workers at UWC had a mass meeting on campus yesterday.

Students' demands included criminal charges against 23 students arrested and interdicts against students and workers, in the duration of UWC Fees Will Fall to be dropped.

UWC spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said management had not received a memorandum as yet, but were willing to engage students as they have in the past.

“The current situation at other campuses has been 
discussed at management level, but today’s (yesterday’s) meeting was a peaceful gathering.

"Reports of extra private security deployed were incorrect and they are only monitoring the situation on campus.”

CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said their Cape Town campus was quiet yesterday.

“SRC elections are under way and it is all proceeding peacefully.

"While there is a small police presence on campuses this is merely for monitoring purposes,”

Yesterday Wits University students clashed with police in the third day of protests as students continue to stay resolute in their call for free education.

Tensions erupted as police used stun grenades and rubber bullets after they crossed over a police barrier line at one of the university’s entrances in Braamfontein and students threw stones resulting to 
injuries on both sides.

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