File picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures
File picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures
Cape Town - The University of Cape Town obtained an interim interdict stopping students from protesting on campus or shutting down academic activities at the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola confirmed that the institution’s management had decided to extend the suspension of face-to-face lectures on main, middle, lower and Hiddingh campuses until today, although the libraries and Jammie Shuttle service were both fully operational.

SRC leader Seipati Tshabalala criticised the interdict, saying there was no violence last week.

“When UCT submitted the interdict to the high court, we were in a senate meeting last Tuesday negotiating peace talks,” she said.

“They (UCT) went behind our back and filed it without alerting me, the SRC president, the voice of the students. 

"They lied behind our backs, saying the protests were violent. There was no violence, we had peace monitors, I myself was monitoring peace.

“When they filed the document they gave us seven pages. When they filed it in court they gave in hundreds of pages,” she said.

Meanwhile, at the CPUT Cape Town campus a design studio was set alight and a section of the engineering building targeted by arsonists last week.

Security guards responded and the fire department managed to extinguish the flames.

In a statement, CPUT said it had reports from Cape Town campus that at least three protesters used pepper spray in buildings to force an evacuation: “Some heads of department opted to send staff home, and the areas affected by the arson attacks will now need to be deep-cleaned and assessed for insurance purposes.”

Spokesperson Lauren Kansley said: “We have put the appropriate measure of security in place for the assessment period.”

Students planned to march to Parliament today. 

Student leader at CPUT Aviwe Gwayi said that the march was a national march about the deadline given to President Jacob Zuma by students to release the fees commission report: “We will be mobilising.”

Cape TImes