On Friday morning, Hugh Amoore, the University of Cape Town registrar, notified the Rhodes Must Fall movement that students and staff had until 2pm on Friday to vacate the Bremner Building. Rhodes Must Fall members will only leave if management agrees to their conditions. The eviction notice comes after the removal of the Cecil John Rhodes statue from campus on Thursday evening.
Many students will still be catching their breath after celebrating the statue’s removal yesterday. But on Friday, their revelry was cut short. In a letter, Amoore told members of the occupation that the university management had “hereby withdrawn” any consent given to the Rhodes Must Fall supporters to occupy the administration building.
“The Council has made clear that its decision to remove the statue must be seen as an expression of Council’s renewed commitment to the project of transformation at UCT,” Amoore wrote.
Students called an emergency meeting via Facebook in response to the letter. Both students and staff have occupied the building for three weeks to disrupt the processes of management and to ensure their demands are heard.
Should they fail to comply with the eviction notice, Amoore said, they will be “contravening rules of conduct” and may be summoned to the high court.
Before the statue fell, UCT vice chancellor Max Price told the Daily Vox that university management respected the occupation.
“Our view is that the students have behaved with dignity and respected other people’s dignity,” Price said.
However, Price has since said that management understood the fall of the statue to signify the end of the occupation.