Picture: Phando Jikelo
Picture: Phando Jikelo

Urine, faeces poured on to CPUT's floors

By Gadeeja Abbas Time of article published Oct 7, 2016

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Cape Town - A meeting intended to seek solutions to the ongoing fees protests had to be called off after demonstrators, for a second day, poured human waste on the floors of CPUT's sports hall.

Media were barred by police and private security from entering the hall to document students pouring the urine and faeces onto the university's floors.

An Independent Media photographer and journalist were roughed up by police and private security guards when they tried to enter.

The Cape Argus team also witnessed another member of the media being pulled by the hair and elbowed in the chest when she tried to take pictures.

As tensions mounted, students vowed that campus management would "eat sh*t" before a sustainable resolution could be found. Moments later, a stand-off between the police and students ended when stun grenades were used to disperse the crowd.

When police launched tear gas canisters and charged at students with their plastic shields, the protesters threw rocks and bricks in retaliation, some of which were loosened from university buildings.

Private security members were also targeted with missiles like rocks, bottles and tree branches. The students refused to engage with unions, the governing body, the senate of academic activities, the management committee and university executives until two expelled students were allowed to sit in on the meetings.

The two students, Sapho Mahilihili and Vuyoni Moerate, were willing to speak to campus management, but were not allowed to, one protester said.

The smell of human excrement and teargas filled the air as the students were forced to retreat.

Earlier, the president of the Convocation, Bheki Hadebe, pleaded with university management to at least initiate interaction with students before the meeting was eventually called off. "If you do not listen to what the students have to say, they will damage property. You cannot be scared of five student representatives who will speak here. Allow them in."

Several members of the university's management team recused themselves, refusing to engage with the delegation of five students because two of them had been expelled.

CPUT vice chancellor, Prins Nevhutalu, was called to intervene, but instead directed staff members via telephone from a secure location.

It is not yet clear how much longer CPUT will remain closed.

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Cape Argus

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