UCT council backs withdrawal of charges against #FeesMustFall, #RhodesMustFall protesters
Cape Town - UCT’s council has finally endorsed the view of the executive that the 33 current and former students’ cases relating to the 2015, 2016 and 2017 protests be withdrawn – including #FeesMustFall, #RhodesMustFall and the #Shackville protests.
UCT registrar Royston Pillay said the allegations against the 33 individuals related to misconduct in terms of UCT’s rules of conduct for students.
Pillay said the allegations included threats and intimidation that created 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 Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission (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focus on the future, the UCT council endorsed the view of the executive that the moratorium and pending cases be withdrawn,” Pillay said.
He said the view took into account the need for the university to move on from the events of 2016 and 2017.
Members of the executive had previously made an opportunity available to hear from alleged victims and complainants but there was risk of ongoing instability were these matters to continue through processes that may not advance institutional healing, he said.
The endorsement follows council chairperson Sipho Pityana’s statement on the conclusion of the IRTC processes, as well as the council resolutions adopted at its meeting in June.
Former #FeesMustFall leader Chumani Maxwele welcomed the decision of the council, and said that was their “idea in the first place”.
“Initially, the council did not want the commission until there was a total shutdown of the university. Finally, former vice-chancellor Max Price signed an agreement that brought back some of us as student activists who were expelled and suspended,” he said.@SISONKE_MD