CPUT student activists reluctant to join national universities shutdown due to pending disciplinary hearing
Suspended Cape Peninsula University (CPUT) student activist claim they are reluctant said to join the #nationalshutdown for #FreeEducation as the university continues to threaten protestors with suspensions.
The group of students were arrested on November 12 during another student protest. They claim that they were then suspended and others expelled as a result of their involvement in the protests. They have been excluded from the school’s system since then.
Xolani Majavu, a final year, electrial engineering student said without legal representation he and five other student activist would not be able to lead or even heed the call for a national university shutdown, which had made waves at higher education institutions across the country. The shutdown calls for students to be allowed to register for the 2021 academic year despite their historical debts.
Majavusaid they were involved in an ongoing internal disciplinary hearing and since the call for national university shutdown sparked the hearing seems to have stalled.
“It’s like we are waiting for our day to be slaughtered. We are always going to the hearing t be chopped but what is funny is that in the past two weeks we have not been called to the hearing because of the growing call for a national shutdown,” said Majavu.
Majavu said unless the had legal advice to assist them they would be unable to join the student protests. Adding that they had already seen that the hearing was bias against them.
“We don’t want to seem like cry babies, we are leaders, we know what the consequences are. But what we are saying is if we can at least get a lawyer that can assist us with this process and advise us,” said Majavu.
Ongezo Dayimane, a final year mathemical science student, said his academics and fees had been paid up by the bursary but when he was protesting he was doing it for equality. He said the university did not take into account what your academic record looked like or whether your fees were paid, it could remove you from the system because of the involvement in protests.
“There are many students who are like me, that’s why many students are afraid to go on strike, everything is paid for and you do well academically but the university can decide to expel you,” said Dayimane.
CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley said the university confirmed that any disciplinary hearing between CPUT and a student follows a stringent process before any outcome is reached.
“A verdict is only handed down after all the parties had an opportunity to present their cases to the three-member panel consisting of an external chair, a HOD and a representative of the SRC. A sanction of expulsion is only requested once clear evidence is presented and proved and only in the most serious of cases,” she said.