Cape Town - Several protesting UCT students were arrested during clashes with the police on Thursday.
There have been clashes since Wednesday when a meeting was held on Jameson Plaza, to which vice-chancellor Max Price was invited.
On Thursday, Price said the behaviour of the students was unacceptable.
“This behaviour is completely unacceptable. We condemn it, it’s unlawful, it’s violent but most importantly it prevents other students who wish to study from fulfilling their dreams,” Price said.
He said the university had proposed an 8% fee increase for next year.
“We can’t shut down the university for that. The demands they have are not new. We have been working on them for the last year; some of them have been fulfilled,” Price said.
Last month, students handed over a memorandum of demands which included a 0% fee increase. They also demanded the immediate release of the report of the Fees Commission and an emergency institutional commission of inquiry into all the deaths of students over the past two to five years relating to suicide.
“We remain open to engage. We don’t want any of our students to leave the institution with a criminal record,” Price said.
The flare-up comes a day after Price addressed students at a mass meeting.
The university was granted an interim interdict which prevents any unlawful protest action. The interdict was granted on Monday.
“My appeal is to those students who are genuinely committed to the causes to distance themselves from the violent activities,” he added.
Price said the university would complete its academic year.
Students held their own meeting at Jameson Hall on Thursday, refusing to allow journalists or photographers to attend. –