More academic activities suspended at CPUT amid violence

CPUT students lend support to their leaders outside the Labour Court in Cape Town. Picture: COURTNEY AFRICA/ANA

CPUT students lend support to their leaders outside the Labour Court in Cape Town. Picture: COURTNEY AFRICA/ANA

Published Sep 14, 2017


Violent protests entered a third day at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), forcing the institution to suspend all academic activities at its Faculty of Business and Management Sciences in Cape Town yesterday.

This came a day after CPUT announced that all academic activities were suspended at the institution's engineering faculty on Tuesday.

On Monday, the industrial design workshop building was allegedly petrol-bombed and a car stoned.

In a statement to students and staff yesterday, the university said: “All assessments scheduled for September 13 (yesterday) on the Cape Town campus in the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences are suspended until further notice.

“We will update you on assessments for the rest of the week in due course. This applies to both full-time and part-time assessments. The decision to do so was not taken lightly. 

"We ask that students please liaise with lecturers in this regard. You are also encouraged to monitor all official communication from the institution.”

The university has been on lockdown after students and workers clashed with police and private security guards since Monday. They were demanding that CPUT lift the suspension of four student leaders and improve the contracts of in-sourced workers.

Yesterday, a group of protesters disrupted classes on the Mowbray campus. Hours later, the university issued a statement, saying: “A security assessment on the Mowbray campus has been conducted and a decision has been taken to reopen that campus for full operations tomorrow (today).

"Students in the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences must contact their lecturers or HOD’s for clarity on the continuation of the

academic programme and assessments.”

Two students were arrested in Woodstock for public violence. This has angered the protesting students, who have demanded that the pair, aged 18 and 26, be released.

Yesterday, hundreds of students and workers gathered outside the Labour Court while the suspended students appeared. One of the suspended students, Lukhanyo Vanqa, was not present.

The students and workers demanded that CPUT acting vice-chancellor Chris Nhlapo address the issues at hand to avoid further protests and disruptions to the academic year.

The workers said that CPUT was disrespecting workers and students.

A security guard, who wanted his name withheld, said: “Two security workers were shot while on duty and the institution did nothing about it."

Another security guard said: “Management is proving us wrong. We are supporting the students because they are the future leaders of our country - the fight to free the arrested students, lifting of the four students' suspensions and the insourcing of worker contracts are all a struggle for free education.”

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