Cape Town - Rhodes Must Fall is calling for UCT vice-chancellor Max Price’s arrest after lodging criminal complaints at Rondebosch police station on Thursday.
They accuse Price of being responsible for the violence and excessive force used against students on Tuesday night, which left many students traumatised.
Meanwhile, Price and his management team have obtained an interdict against 16 students – some are leaders.
Besides Price, the student movement also lodged complaints against UCT’s deputy vice-chancellor, Francis Petersen, and development and alumni department executive director Russell Ally.
RMF leaders said their complaints against the university – and specifically Price, Petersen and Ally – include assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, intimidation and malicious damage to property.
Speaking to the Cape Times outside Rondebosch police station on Thursday, RMF co-leader Simon Rakei said complaints of malicious damage to property, unlawful eviction and intimidation would also be lodged against Vetus Schola Security Services and the SAPS.
RMF spokesperson Alex Hotz said the complaints against Price, Petersen and Ally were because they had been the decision-makers behind the use of force against students on Tuesday night.
“Max Price and his executive needs to held accountable,” said Hotz.
“The struggle and fight will continue. This only fuels the need to decolonise.”
Police spokesperson André Traut confirmed students had lodged complaints of assault, intimidation and malicious damage to property at Rondebosch police station. Asked who the complaints were against, Traut said: “We cannot disclose this information.”
UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said: “We have not had anything formally communicated to us with regards to charges being laid against the UCT executive.
“Until we are formally notified, we are not in a position to say anything on this matter.”
On Tuesday, UCT’s executive asked RMF members protesting against a lack of accommodation to move a shack they had erected in Residence Road to an alternative space 20m away.
Later that night protesters entered Smuts Hall, Fuller Hall and Jameson Hall, removed artwork from the walls and burnt them.
A passenger vehicle, a Jammie shuttle bus and several bins were set alight and Price’s office was petrol-bombed. Private security guards hired by UCT destroyed the shack. Public Order Police called by UCT arrested six students.
On Wednesday, UCT management obtained an interim interdict at the Western Cape High Court against 16 students and “anyone who associates themselves with unlawful conduct at any of the university’s premises”.
Among them is Chumani Maxwele, who sparked the RMF movement when he flung faeces on a statue of Cecil John Rhodes, which was subsequently removed. Maxwele said he found it strange they had been interdicted.
“A number of the students on the list, including myself, were not even there on Tuesday night. These are prominent RMF members, so this is a clear tactic by the university management to disrupt the movement,” Maxwele said.
Another student interdicted is former Cape Times editor Chris Whitfield’s daughter Kirsten. The others are: Sanchia Davids, Mogezi Mayepi, Neo Reiloe Manacapa, De Waal Hugo, Itumeleng Nkululeko Molefe, Dumisani Ncubani, Athabile Nonxuba, Alex Hotz, Pam Dhlamini, Masixole Mlandu, Slovo Magida, Zola Shokane, Brian Kamanzi and Ru Slayen.
The 16 have been summoned to appear in the Western Cape HIgh Court in March. Among the conditions of the interim interdict are that none may enter campus, except those living legally in UCT residences, who may continue living there.
The respondents have also been interdicted against obstructing university activities; erecting unauthorised structures; destroying, damaging or defacing property; and inciting unlawful behaviour.
The conditions of the interim interdict will stand until the matter is heard on March 15.