Occupiers speak out against UCT

Published Apr 13, 2015


Cape Town - Protestors of the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) movement on Monday said the University of Cape Town (UCT) was distorting engagement between student protestors and staff.

“The email from Dr Max Price, the notice served by Hugh Amoore, and the interdict served to the RMF is a part of management’s attempts to discredit the movement, “ said the RMF.

RMF was responding to an email sent by Vice-Chancellor Price and a notice signed by Registrar Amoore on Friday.

It was also to explain the end of their occupation at UCT’s administration building, Bremner.

Price said the RMF and the Student Representative Council (SRC) agreed to vacate once the Cecil John Rhodes statue was removed, as it was on Thursday.

According to Price, the SRC had honoured the agreement.

However, the RMF said this was just one of their terms before ending occupation which began March 20.

The RMF left Bremner on Sunday night following a court summons.

“You, Max Price, chose not to engage us like humans. You referred to the black student as a problem,” said the RMF’s Thato Pule.

The RMF said they chose to vacate Bremner because of threats to four of their fellow protestors.

“By singling out four individuals, management is attempting a method of divide and conquer,” said RMF.

“Let it be known, we will protect our own and as such, we have vacated.”

The four students RMF were referring to had lodged complaints to UCT management regarding alleged attacks by campus security and staff on student protestors.

On Price’s statement about continuing to tackle transformation despite disagreements with the RMF, the movement said “decolonisation cannot be headed up by the colonialists”. UCT could not immediately comment.

The RMF also tackled allegations that their fight had been taken over by political parties.

“We believe we represent something that is a feeling across the country. It is something many people have been feeling,” it said.

On statues vandalised across the country, RMF said they “would not police black rage”.

“We cannot condemn people who act out the aggression they experience every day,” it said.

The RMF also clarified their position on the role of different race groups.

“All people of colour who have experienced inequality have a place in our organisation,” it said.

The RMF said they were committed to carrying out their three-pronged fight for transformation of staff demographics, academic curriculum, and workers’ rights.

UCT’s Council, the institution’s highest decision-making body, were to meet on Wednesday.

“We are giving management until April 15 to deliver on our demands for transformation,” said RMF.


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