Zizipho Pae

Carlo Petersen

UCT Student Representative Council vice-president Zizipho Pae has been expelled after a special executive meeting voted 7-0 in favour of her removal.

In another development at UCT, the Western Cape High Court has granted an interim order which allows student activist Chumani Maxwele back in class.

On June 28, Pae had posted a Facebook status update: “We are institutionalising and normalising sin! Sin. May God have mercy on us.”

She admitted the statement was in reaction to a recent US Supreme Court ruling sanctioning same-sex marriages, sparking a massive outcry from the UCT Queer Revolution (UCTQR) collective.

UCTQR has lodged formal complaints with the Human Rights Commission, the UCT Ombudsman and the university’s Discrimination and Harassment Office about Pae’s controversial statement.

UCTQR spokesperson Pam Dhlamini said there were seven votes in favour of Pae’s removal from office, none against and one abstention at the SRC’s special executive meeting on Tuesday night.

UCT spokesperson Pat Lucas confirmed Pae’s removal from office last night. “Student organisations operate independently of university structures.

“However, through the department of student affairs, UCT remains available to provide support, if it is requested, to student organisations as well as to individual students.”

Lucas said the university also noted a statement by the Christian Action Network (CAN), which slammed the SRC yesterday.

“The SRC meeting to discuss Zizipho Pae’s suspension from the SRC was nothing short of a kangaroo court,” said CAN spokesperson Taryn Hodgson.

She said the meeting and its outcome was prejudicial.

Maxwele – who had been suspended by the university in May for allegedly racially abusing and threatening a lecturer – is now allowed to attend classes.

“The court order allows me the right to attend classes and tutorials, but I’m not allowed to attend gatherings on campus where there are more than 10 students,” he said.