Cape Town - Eight people have been arrested and are due to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property after students from the Rhodes Must Fall movement went on the rampage at the University of Cape Town on Tuesday.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut confirmed the arrests on Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday UCT students, frustrated with the housing crisis and other challenges, set paintings and a plaque from the Smuts Hall residence alight at the foot of Jameson stairs.
Students raided the dining hall at Fuller residence, and stripped the hall of its decor and paintings.
Historic paintings and other valuables were piled high and set alight, as students danced and chanted.
University spokesmen also confirmed that a Jammie Shuttle was set alight on Tuesday evening on Lower Campus outside Tugwell residence, that another was damaged in a stone-throwing incident and that the office of the rector, Dr Max Price, had been set alight.
UCT laid charges with the police and described the students’ actions as criminal.
On Monday, the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) movement erected a shack on Residence Road, Upper Campus, to protest what they called the institution’s discrimination against black students in placing them in accommodation.
The hashtags #HomelessAtUCT and #Shackville were used to gain traction on social media.
UCT has 6 680 beds for 27 000 students.
The university has asked homeowners with space in Cape Town to assist the university in providing residence for those with no accommodation.
Tuesday’s chaos ensued after protesters defied a request by the university management to vacate the road, the location of “Shackville”.
On Wednesday morning RMF tweeted an appeal for money for a “bail out campaign” for those arrested.
IOL and Cape Argus