Third day of UWC protests gets heated
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Cape Town - Classes at UWC were disrupted on Wednesday and university property damaged as protests on campus continued for a third day.
According to a statement from the executive management, workers and students had gathered in front of the administration building before making their way to the rest of the campus.
Some outsourced workers and students have been calling for an end to outsourcing and a minimum wage of R10 000.
Doors and windows were broken.
“As a result of these actions by the protesting group of students, they were engaged by the police and security with some resulting skirmishes.”
On Monday, the university was granted a court order prohibiting disruptions to the academic programme by protesters.
According to the statement, the court order had been served, read and explained to the protesting group.
It was agreed that a meeting with the protesting group would be held on Thursday.
“There is a narrative being created that the management has been refusing to engage with the protesting workers and students and thus justifying the continuation of protest and disruption of the academic programme. We wish to unequivocally refute this claim.”
The university said the issue of insourcing and the university’s inability to meet this demand at this stage had been part of engagements since last year.
Meanwhile, at CPUT, students marched around the Bellville campus on Wednesday mobilising other students to join them in protest after they submitted a memorandum of grievances on Monday.
According to the memorandum, they gave university management until noon on Wednesday to respond which, according to them, never happened and later led to the peaceful protest.
On addressing the group, one student who didn’t want to be named, said that since the management hadn’t responded they had decided to shut the campus down until their demands were met.
Their demands include that the 78 students who were suspended last year during the #FeesMustFall protests be allowed back on campus.
Other demands were that all charges be dropped before registration closes, that two more residences be opened with a minimum of 300 beds each, that no student be financially excluded and that students with outstanding debt be allowed to register.
At about 4pm on Wednesday, CPUT spokeswoman Lauren Kansley said the vice-chancellor, Dr Prins Nevhutalu, was meeting with students and “addressing a number of issues contained in the memorandum that they handed to CPUT management on Monday”.
“The meeting is going well, with student leadership maintaining calm and order amongst the group of protesters.”