Activists removed as protest spreads to CPUT
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POLICE forcibly removed 60 Stellenbosch University students from a building they were occupying yesterday morning after the university obtained an interdict against them.
The students occupied the Admin B building on Monday night. In a statement Open Stellenbosch accused the university management of not making an attempt to meet with them.
The no-fees protest also spread to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s (CPUT) Cape Town campus. CPUT spokeswoman Lauren Kansley said they had suspended classes.
She said CPUT’s Student Representative Council was in negotiations with vice-chancellor Mikhail Mabuza. On the table was a 10 percent increase.
a small group of students went from class to class convincing students to take part in the protest. A fight broke out between two of them.
Hundreds of students barricaded the entrance to the campus and burnt tyres.
No one was allowed to enter or exit the campus and
there was a heavy police presence.
A lecturer who was prevented from leaving got into a heated debate with students, whom she accused of acting like criminals.
During the argument she grabbed recording devices from Cape Times journalists, demanding that the conversation be deleted.
SA Students Congress (Sasco) member Lebogang Ndabambi said the nationwide protests at most universities had been coming for a long time.
“Living in residence I have to pay R35 000… and this is besides my tuition fee. We have working parents who are struggling to pay our fees and by raising it with 10 percent so many students will not be able to come back next year.”
Sasco CPUT secretary Aviwe Gwayi said they planned to hold demonstrations, would not allow lecturers to enter the premises to give classes until they met management, and were planning on shutting down all CPUT campuses.
University of Stellenbosch spokesperson Martin Viljoen confirmed that police had removed 60 students who occupied the Admin B building.
He said they had obtained a court interdict against those protesters who refused to leave the building on Monday evening.
Open Stellenbosch said there was no evident attempt from executive members of management to meet with students of #StelliesFeesMustFall, which included many of their members.
“On the morning of the protests there was an unusually strong police presence on campus, with armoured police and an ambulance in anticipation of a violent outbreak.
“Given that this year has seen an unprecedented number of demonstrations and none of these demonstrations have given the impression that those involved are inclined to violence, we can only conclude that the university intended for this to escalate into a confrontation with police,” Open Stellenbosch said.