UCT accused of ‘victimising’ RMF members

Chumani Maxwele

Chumani Maxwele

Published Apr 27, 2016


Cape Town -

Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) has accused UCT of “victimising” its members after it instituted disciplinary processes against a number of students recently.

RMF spokesperson Mohammed Abdulla said the university is using draconian measures to target “strong voices” in the movement in a bid to derail the student activist group.

UCT has obtained an interim interdict against five RMF members – three of them UCT students – in the Western Cape High Court for violating the university’s code of conduct or breaking the law during the #Shackville protest in February.

The five appeared in court last month and are awaiting judgment.

They have been charged after for their alleged actions during a protest to highlight a lack of student accommodation at the university.

Sixteen people found to have broken UCT’s student code during the protest had been listed on the interim court interdict which prohibited them from entering UCT property until the matter was heard in court.

UCT management then decided to take 11 students off the interim interdict.

This week, university spokesperson Pat Lucas confirmed that more students now face disciplinary processes.

“The university confirms that disciplinary processes are under way against a number of students whose actions are alleged to have breached the Code of Conduct on February 16, 2016,” Lucas said.

She said UCT upholds the confidentiality of internal disciplinary proceedings and will not provide further information to the public.

“UCT does not discipline students for participating in protest within legal boundaries. No students have been disciplined for engaging in protest.

“Disciplinary action is taken when students are accused of participating in activities that violate the UCT Code of Conduct and/or when they break the law,” Lucas added.

Abdulla said there was a strong sense within the movement UCT management was targeting certain individuals.

“Essentially RMF has no official leaders, but there is a definite move from the university’s side to victimise the strong voices within the movement – the ones who they see as trouble makers.

“I’ve seen video evidence of other students committing similar acts to the ones the RMF members have been charged for, but UCT has done nothing to charge them.”

He said RMF is keen to enter into a mediation process for an amicable solution, but UCT has chosen a “punitive hard-line approach”.

The five who appeared in court last month are Alex Hotz, Masixole Mlandu, Slovo Magida, Zola Shokane and Chumani Maxwele.

Cape Times

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