"If they are fighting against the institution, they are missing an opportunity," he said. "Blade Nzimande has underfunded universities continually and the issue must always be what happens with access to funding."
Maimane avoided weighing in on the methods the protesters had used, shutting down UCT and preventing others from attending class and writing exams. "Protests are protests," he said. "They must continue. The plight of students is a serious one, and we must take cognisance of it.
"We must fight this battle against the Department of Higher Education." UCT students continued their protest on Tuesday against a proposed increase in fees that started on Monday. Police arrested some of the students who burnt tyres and barricaded entrances to the campus.
UCT management said that due to the protest, all classes were suspended until further notice and the Upper, Middle and Lower Campus were inaccessible on Tuesday morning.
A large group of students left from Lower Campus on Tuesday morning, marching up Forest Hill, down to Mowbray Main Road, and up towards UCT's Health Sciences campus.
There, medical students poured out of classrooms into a courtyard, where they formed a massive crowd and listened to student leaders speaking about rising fees.
The march climbed up to Clarinus House residence, then proceeded into Woodstock to Rochester House. By this time, the protesters were exhausted, hot and hungry.
When they reached Rochester House residence, a group of them broke into the dining hall, where food was laid out waiting for the residents to attend lunch. They climbed in the windows, and raided the food and juices in the hall.
WATCH: UCT protesters break into Rochester House dining hall and raid foodThe protesters were hot, tired and hungry from three hours of marching around campus. When they reached Rochester House residence at around 12.30pm, a small group climbed through the window and tucked into the food that was laid out for the resident's lunch. They passed bread, juice and meals out the windows to other waiting protesters outside.
Independent Online - www.iol.co.za on Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Some climbed on tables, while others made sandwiches to pass out the windows to other waiting protesters.
Once the dining hall had been thoroughly looted, the student march moved out of the residence. It was here that they met Maimane.
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