Chumani Maxwele

Carlo Petersen

UCT student Chumani Maxwele visited the Western Cape High Court yesterday to make an application asking the court to set aside his suspension.

The university had deemed Maxwele a potential risk to staff and students in June and suspended the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) member until September pending a disciplinary hearing into allegations that he threatened and racially abused a lecturer.

Maxwele recently appealed the suspension and the university made a decision to vary the suspension order to allow him to attend classes and use the library.

The student activist returned to court yesterday to ask that the court set aside the university’s decision to suspend him.

“I am asking the court to interdict the university from suspending me again until the matter of the disciplinary hearing is heard at the university’s tribunal,” Maxwele said.

He told the Cape Times he wanted to know why UCT issued him with a resuspension after the university’s appeals committee ruled against it.

“The suspension has changed so many times. It is safe therefore to say that this case against me is politically motivated,” he said.

Maxwele’s attorney, Barnabas Xulu, said: “This flip-flopping of this suspension order is a clear indication that the original order was unlawful. We are moving to have it reviewed with a view to have UCT’s entire rule book reviewed.”

Maxwele had said the order prohibited him from attending “political activities such as student meetings and current mediation meetings between RMF and the university”.

University management denied this, saying the suspension order does not include any prohibition related to Maxwele’s involvement in political activities at UCT.

The university had varied Maxwele’s suspension order to ensure his academic career is not harmed by the disciplinary process, according to UCT management.

UCT spokesperson Pat Lucas said: “I can say this much, the University of Cape Town notes that judgment has been reserved on this matter.”

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